The mystery of a photographer who took more than 2,000 Victorian photographs has begun to unfold following an exhibition of his work.
The collection by Joseph Hughes, from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, was discovered by an electrician in the 1970s and recently unveiled for the first time at an exhibition in the town.
Since then local residents have collected copies of his birth certificate in Gloucestershire, traced his progress until he opened his studio in Bromsgrove in his 40s, and his return to Gloucestershire before his eventual death in
1914. They also believe the collection includes a photograph of a relative.
The photographs went on display after a local group received a £20,000 grant from the Local Heritage Initiative, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and administered by the Countryside Agency.
Residents are beginning to piece together the story of Mr Hughes, his customers and life in this small Victorian market town, at the turn of the 20th Century.
Terry O'Brien, himself a keen photographer, who is leading the Local Heritage Initiative, said: " We've already had over 1,000 hits on the website and countless leads. A family has appeared with a story of a family heirloom in the form of a stuffed monkey, which, we believe, when it was alive appeared with one of their ancestors."