Portrait of a City (PoaC) was a flagship project of City of Culture 2013. It sought to engage communities across the city with their cultural heritage by collecting, recording, digitising and exhibiting photographs, stories and memories of their neighbourhoods and their city. Given the resultant significant impact of the project, and the continued demand for its archiving, training and showcasing services, it is evident that PoaC has the potential to expand its reach and participation while delivering lasting benefits to the wider community for the foreseeable future.
An extensive online digital archive of imagery and film was established, creating a unique memory bank for the city and its rural hinterland. A series of exhibitions and information events engaged local communities with their local and national heritage and traditions in an open, friendly and accessible way. A programme of free digital training was delivered, teaching basic and advanced digital media skills in image scanning, capturing and treatment, enabling people of all ages to participate. Several innovative artistic commissions brought the PoaC digital archive to life, displaying rarely-seen and iconic imagery in the public arena, some for the very first time.
Guildhall Press were involved with the technical management of PoaC and accompanying website throughout the development and implementation phases as an integral member of the project’s Advisory Board. When City of Culture 2013 came to a close, Guildhall Press assumed responsibility for the PoaC archive in partnership with Creggan Enterprises. Together, they are providing interim financial and technical support to help sustain elements of the PoaC programming, including digital training, asset archiving and community exhibitions.