Newly armed with my information obtained upon the whereabouts of the Samuel Cooper Photography Studio and Dorothy’s own Studio Alexander on Market Street I have been heading into the city’s archives to try and find picture evidence of these buildings.
The first point of call was the North West Film Archive. This is a really lovely institution based in Manchester City Centre, if you are on any kind of historical quest yourself I cannot recommend making an appointment here enough! The staff are wonderful and placed me in a back room jammed with old camera and video equipment (which was an experience in itself!) to go through a number of recorded images of Market Street, which I had previously located through their online catalogue. It was brilliant to go through a number of films and see how Market Street has changed over the last 100 years. The films I viewed showed Manchester at Christmas, the bomb damage from WW2, student activities (i.e. drinking and dancing!), a fashion show (here I was hoping to glance the face of one of Dorothy’s Lucy Clayton fashion models) and finally street and traffic scenes.
Despite this being really useful in terms of the historical experience of Manchester at this time, the architecture and social aspects, unfortunately with moving images it was difficult to distinguish any specific doorways or buildings. I think the next step may be to use a picture archive, which might make it a bit easier to study the buildings in detail…we shall soon see!