PastView’s e-commerce functionality creates new revenue stream for Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust

Posted on September 10th, 2014 by Ryan Kyle

Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust’s photographic archive website, powered by our PastView digital archive management system, has allowed the Trust to generate new revenue by selling quality prints of images from it’s unique historic photo collection to the public online. Read on below to find out how…

Digitising Wigan’s image archive

Alex Miller of Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust (WLCT) approached TownsWeb Archiving looking to digitise part of WLCT’s photographic archive and publish it online. During the project consultation TownsWeb Managing Director, Paul Sugden, explained that TownsWeb could also provide a completely bespoke image archive website and open up online retail opportunities through it’s unique PastView solution. Happy with Paul’s proposal, Alex chose to go ahead with the project.

First, in preparation for making the images available online, TownsWeb digitised 5000 images from WLCT’s rich collection of print photographs, glass plates and 35mm film strips. TownsWeb digitisation staff also performed transcription to capture the additional metadata relating to each of the images.

Web design and PastView installation

Whilst the images were being digitised, TownsWeb development staff co-ordinated with WLCT to develop the bespoke library website ( that would showcase the archive.

As part of the website development, a keyword search facility was built into the site to allow visitors to search the image archive. An e-commerce order processing system was also put in place and linked with the WorldPay online payment platform to allow the site to process the orders.

The digitised images were imported into WLCT’s PastView installation by TownsWeb development staff, together with their associated metadata, before the system was linked to the WLCT image archive website. Once linked with the website, PastView allows visitors to keyword search through the archive against all of the metadata to find the image they want.

Once a visitor has found an image they would like to buy, a simple “Add to Cart” button enables the visitor to crop the image to a standard print size, before proceeding to the payment page. PastView’s watermarking functionality allows the archive website to display a large version of the image to the visitor, with reduced risk to WLCT’s copyright.

Hassle free e-commerce

After configuring and installing the web-based PastView system and putting the image archive website live, TownsWeb Archiving now completely handle the fulfilment of all the online print orders. TownsWeb receive the orders, produce the photographic prints, and package and despatch them to customers. This arrangement ensures WLCT receive the benefit of extra revenue, without the hassle and additional costs associated with high quality print production.

PastView – Unlocking value

“Whether you’re a public sector or private organisation, identifying and exploiting new sources of income is vital in our increasingly challenging economic climate” said Paul Sugden, Managing Director of TownsWeb Archiving, speaking about the project.

“With Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust, PastView enabled them to open their unique digital archive up to the public online and unlock it’s potential as a revenue generating, financial asset.”

Click to find out more about PastView’s features or making money from your archive through PastView. You can also give us a call on 01536 713834 or email

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