Revealing the E. Chambré Hardman photographic collection

A selection of photos from the E. Chambre Hardman collection laid across a table, showing a range of subjects including landscapes and portraits

Welcome to Hardmans Unpacked, our exciting two-year project to catalogue and conserve the E. Chambré Hardman Photographic Collection and to make it more accessible for everyone to explore and enjoy.

Discover the story behind our efforts to preserve this unique collection, find out how you can get involved and explore our project timeline below. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NTHardmansHouse) for behind-the-scenes updates and highlights from the collection.

Conservator's hands in latex gloves taking down a box of items from a shelf in the Liverpool Records Office

What's in the collection?

The Edward Chambré Hardman Photographic Collection is a unique survival with local, national and international artistic significance. It contains over 140,000 photographic prints and negatives dating from the 1920s to 1970s, business records and personal papers. Together, these provide unique insight into the work and personal life of Liverpool’s foremost portrait and landscape photographer, Edward Chambré Hardman, and record a fascinating social history of the mid-20th century.

Hardmans Unpacked

Though the collection has been kept safe at Liverpool Records Office, the National Trust has lacked the resources to thoroughly explore and catalogue what we have. This makes it difficult for people to access. Yet we know that lots of people love the Hardmans’ work, whether for research or personal enjoyment.

The Hardmans Unpacked project will catalogue, digitise and conserve a significant section of this unique collection and share it through community engagement activities and online. We'll make the archive accessible for local and family history study and academic research too. We hope local people will be able to get involved through events, activities and volunteering as part of the project.

The project is delivered in partnership with Liverpool Records Office and funded by the National Trust and the Archives Revealed programme, which is supported by The National Archives, The Pilgrim Trust and the Wolfson Foundation.

Get involved


01 Jul 19

Archives Revealed awards funding

We’re awarded £25,000 as part of the Archives Revealed programme, which is supported by the National Archives, the Wolfson Foundation and The Pilgrim Trust. This will help us to open up the Hardmans' largely-uncatalogued archive to both researchers and the public alike, meaning more people will be able to access our fascinating collection. The project has begun!

Visitors looking at photographs

19 Oct 19

Further funding boost

After hearing about the project individual National Trust supporters generously pledged over £10,000 to help support the costs of the project.

The front door showing name plaque at the Hardmans' House, Liverpool

15 Nov 19

Archivists, assemble!

Our team of experts are recruited and they begin work on the Hardmans Unpacked project. Over the next month, archivist Lindsey and digitisation conservator Alex visit the Hardmans' House and the Liverpool Records Office and come to face-to-face with this significant collection, which they'll be working closely with over the next two years.

The Hardmans Unpacked project team inspecting items in the archive, surrounded by shelves filled with objects