Manly Images

Manly Images is an innovative approach towards the Manly Public Library’s (Sydney, Australia) collection of historic images. It was developed by Mitchell Whitelaw in 2012 and offers the viewer two different entry points: Exploration by title and Exploration by decade. One can switch between the two modes at any point during viewing.

In both cases the viewer is first met with a display of selected images of varying size. The image size represents the quantity of images that hold a certain word or are dated in a certain decade respectively. While for the titles the image size is in a certain ratio, the timeline shows a strechted image relating to the representation of time in a timeline.

While the images by title are “ordered” from their quantity, the decades are according to the time that has passed.

Manly Image Library – Exploration by Title: Here a strip of 6 images available to be viewed is extended below the selected title word, arrows allow the user to look at the next 6 images and simply browse through.
Manly Images // Exploration by Decade // Image view


The title word or decade are displayed in the top left-hand corner of a representative image, the number of images containing the word or dated in the time period is displayed in the top-right hand corner. Upon selecting a word or decade, a small strip of six images extends below the image, dividing the overview. Arrows enable the user to browse through all the images, always seeing six at a time (or less, when the last images are displayed and do not amount to six). In the title view a timeline below the strip lets the viewer select a decade, while in the decade view individual years can be selected. Again the amount of images held in that time is represented through the length of the strip. When an image is selected, it is displayed in a larger view together with a title and if available year, while the overview fades and is barely visible.