“Going Back in a Heartbeat”: Collective memory and the online circulation of family photographs

MacDonald, Richard. 2015. “Going Back in a Heartbeat”: Collective memory and the online circulation of family photographs. Photographies, 8(1), pp. 23-42. ISSN 1754-0763 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article focuses on a form of online photo-sharing practice largely overlooked in recent literature: the sharing of personal collections of “old” analogue photographs retrieved from family albums, suitcases and cupboards. Recent scholarship on digital photography and online photo-sharing has argued that the widespread adoption of digital technologies and network infrastructures for image capture, storage, transmission and display have led to an “ontological reorientation” of popular photography away from preservation and memory. The article discusses two Facebook groups devoted to sharing photos and memories relating to Salford in North West England. The fate of Salford’s postwar working class neighbourhoods, vanguard spaces of creative destruction, and the relative scarcity of personal photographs of vanished streets are discussed as context for understanding photo-sharing as a popular collective memory practice.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


5 February 2015Published

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Date Deposited:

26 Oct 2015 10:45

Last Modified:

03 Dec 2019 09:42

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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