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This post is just by way of a pointer and plug for the excellent National Archives Image Library, a resource which contains 40,000 images of recent British history. It’s a great place to get inspiration about a subject if you’re just starting out (try searching for “prison” or “nuclear power” or “whiskey” to see what I mean) and it’s also good for finding out what a particular historical person or place looked like. As well as British subjects, which make up the majority of the content, there’s great coverage of imperial issues and about Europe, particularly in the two world wars. The images are watermarked to prevent theft or illegal usage, but all can be purchased for private purposes for a moderate fee (usually around £35). If framed, many would make lovely gifts.

In the gallery below, I showcase just a few of the weird and wonderful, and sometimes disturbing, pictures I’ve come across. But why not have a go yourself?