The South East Archive of Seaside Photography (SEAS Photography) was first established in 2012 with assistance from a Heritage Lottery Fund award. It is located at Canterbury Christ Church University: Broadstairs Campus and undertakes research into seaside photographic practices, communities and cultures. SEAS Photography specialises in organising exhibitions, events and spectacle that offer new and exciting perspectives on British seaside photography.
For the past two years, SEAS Photography been digitally archiving the substantial Sunbeam photographic collection. Sunbeam, was the dominant commercial photographic company, which ‘worked’ the Isle of Thanet’s (Margate/Broadstairs/Ramsgate etc) coast. The collection archived here is owned by Thanet District Council and is normally stored at the Margate Museum. For the purpose of ongoing archiving and digitising Thanet District Council and Margate Museum have relocated the collection to CCCU but do note that since December 2014 SEAS Photography has provided a full digitised archive of the Sunbeam Collection at the Margate Museum .
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SEAS Photography has an ongoing focus on locating, collating and archiving ‘Walkies’ photographs taken along the South East Coast. Whilst predominantly taken by Sunbeam photographers, there are few of these images in the actual Sunbeam Collection – they were not at the time of taking regarded as worthy of archiving. But this strand of activity offers an exciting ongoing opportunity to raise awareness of the rich visual heritage residing within many of the homes of the local communities.