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The Mac Photographic Archive

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Glasgow School of Arts students launch an amazing Mac Photographic Archive

If you’d listened hard enough a couple of weeks ago on May 23 you’d have heard a collective gasp sweep across Great Britain as the news spread that a fire had taken hold of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building on Renfrew Street in Glasgow, a much-loved and iconic piece of Scottish architecture. A campaign has since been launched to restore the building to its former glory, but in the meantime, former alumni and students of the school have created the Mac Photographic Archive, a brilliantly interactive website allowing contributors to click freely around different parts of the building and to publish their own photographs of the interior.

Lizzie Malcolm, the former student who created the website, explains: “A current Google search will return a myriad of images of the exterior of the building. However, it is the intention of this website to concentrate on gathering a comprehensive record of the interior of the building, from the people who have used it since its completion in 1909. Users can tag their photos with the floor and room in which the photograph was taken, estimate the date and annotate accordingly.”

It’s a fitting tribute to the building, allowing users to admire Mackintosh’s handiwork as well as serving as a kind of educational accompaniment to the school’s grounds. Black and white photographs of students painting in the studios from 1909 sit alongside Instagram shots of golden light streaming through stairways and corridors taken only months ago, creating a fantastic overview of the century of people who’ve worked with its walls. We’re looking forward to seeing the restoration process finished, but this is as good a place-keeper as any.

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The Mac Photographic Archive: Ground Floor Studio, January 1909. Found on the VictorianWeb.com

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The Mac Photographic Archive: Second Floor Studio, scan of a colour slide taken in January 1976

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The Mac Photographic Archive: Basement Level Archive Store, Fifth Year Architecture 1990

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The Mac Photographic Archive: Second Floor Stairwell, November 1979. Added by Cassandra Philpot

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The Mac Photographic Archive: Second Floor Studio, November 1979. Added by Cassandra Philpot

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The Mac Photographic Archive: Light Reflections on the First Floor Stairwell, December 2012, added by Arabella Murray-Nag

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The Mac Photographic Archive: Second Floor Loggia, December 2013. Added by Rachel

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The Mac Photographic Archive: First Floor Stairwell, February 2012. Added by Kaytria Stauffer

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The Mac Photographic Archive: Second Floor Hen Run, December 2006. Added by Emily Roo