CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

BUSINESS QUESTION – PRESERVATION OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVES – 24 March 2016

Dr Julian Lewis: In the light of the sad closure of the print edition of the Independent, may we have a statement from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on a future policy for the preservation of photographic archives? I know that the National Archives has done a great deal of work on preserving Government documentation in the digital age, but when a great newspaper closes, it would be a terrible shame to lose for the nation the photographic record that it has built up, and in the digital age this raises serious practical problems for the long term.

[The Deputy Leader of the House of Commons (Dr Thérèse Coffey): My right hon. Friend raises an interesting point. My expectation is that ownership of the photographs lies either with the proprietors of that newspaper or the original photographers, so I am not sure that it is for Government to try and automatically ensure that what my right hon. Friend suggests happens. However, it might be possible to facilitate that discussion with our national museums. The Secretary of State will be back at the Dispatch Box a fortnight after we get back, and I recommend that my right hon. Friend the Member for New Forest East (Dr Lewis) asks the question then.]