FREE PASTVIEW DEMO (Completely free and only takes 30 seconds)
previous arrownext arrow


PastView Lite

Free PastView platform & pre-themed website – Supporting local heritage

The PastView Lite package contains the core features needed to get your digitised or digital-born collections uploaded, managed and published online. PastView has been providing the cultural sector with the tools to manage their digital collections within a trusted platform designed with the sole purpose of publishing content to a digital collections website. Working with a wide range of organisations over the past decade, PastView has brought new life to the tools and display of digital collections online.

Get started with PastView Lite – Book your onboarding meeting

Key features of PastView Lite

What is it?

TownsWeb Archiving, developers of PastView, are bringing the PastView Lite package to support the cultural sector by offering a 12-months, completely free digital collections platform, website, support and training package. There will be no upfront cost, ever and no recurring fees for the first 12-months.

Following the initial 12-months, the service can continue with a minimum payment of £79.99/month and £10.00/month per 10 Gb storage.

The resulting Essential’s website is an intuitive and extremely versatile flexible package that will grow with the Centre’s vision in telling the rich story of Lymm’s heritage.

– Glynis Allen, The Lymm Heritage Centre

What’s included with PastView Lite?

Perfect for small to medium sized digital collections. Style your themed website and take advantage of a number of truly great features. Get your digital collections online quickly and easily and enjoy the benefits that come with simplified choice and flexibility.

License & Storage FREE
for 12 months

Key Features

  • Preconfigured website theme for quick online user-access
  • Reduced management features for simplified use
  • Scalable solution with uncapped storage limitations
  • Simple item upload, editing and management
  • Secure off-site cloud backup
  • Protect your items using watermarks
  • High-Res zoom using PageExplorer


With a pre-themed mobile-compliant website, it’s easy to get online. Flexibility to upload your logo, heading, colour scheme and page content. PastView Lite has everything you will need to take your digital collections online.

The website will incorporate an ‘Image Search Engine’ and ‘Browse the Archive’ making your website fully searchable by users to find your digital collections. Pre-defined attributes and attribute sets shall ensure you can add metadata to your images which form the basis of the search.

Book your onboarding meeting


PastView Lite includes two 30-minute remote training sessions to provide a user with the confidence in navigating the platform and tools to set up the website ready for launch. Weekly training sessions are run in order to continue development and training, these 30-minute sessions are accessible to all PastView users. Online tutorials and help guides are available through the platform.


Your PastView Lite package provides online storage for 10 Gb, this will host around 5,000x images (each 2 Mb). Additional storage can be purchased at any time.

Book your onboarding meeting

The Lite Package

Included FeaturesAdd-On Features

Pre-Set Attributes / Image Details

When uploading your images they are assigned ‘Attributes’ (the details that best identify and describe them). For example, attributes could include the date, original reference number, photographer and location. All of these attributes then become searchable terms, thereby enhancing the discoverability of your online items. With PastView Essentials, you can take advantage of a number of predefined attributes and attribute sets in order to organise, enhance and make searchable your digital collections. Storing textual data against each of your items aids consistency and search productivity.

Item Management

Based on an item being around 2MB, you can upload up to 5,000 items equating to 10GB of storage with PastView Essentials. 10GB of storage is a lot of space, so you’re going to need to be able to manage those individual items and decide how they will be identified and organised. At the point of upload, your items can be allocated attributes and attribute sets, to help gather items into multiple searchable collections. You can continue to add items over time and decide when and where these will become available to your audiences, perhaps releasing them as part of a digital or physical exhibition.

Collection Management

It’s important that you have ultimate control over your content and how it works for you, so with PastView Essentials the management of your digital collection is in your capable hands. After the initial PastView upload, you can continue adding items over time. Organising items into collections and sub-collections and assigning attributes is easy. You can publish your ‘hidden’ digital collections whenever you are ready by simply toggling from ‘hidden’ to ‘visible’.


Digital collections are vast and wonderfully diverse, but this can make connecting items across collections a tricky business. Your users might want to find information about a specific composer, artist or other influential person, but you also know you have a huge amount of varied and supporting material they might find both fascinating and useful. Here’s where tagging comes in. With PastView Essentials you can tag items in your collections with particular names and details, so that searches can trawl and return every related item.

Simple Watermarks - Protecting your Images

Select to add a standard watermark across your images and immediately secure them online, protecting them against copyright infringement and digitally stamping ownership by removing unrestricted access. With PastView Essentials you can configure watermarking during the installation of your data. This is then automatically applied to each and every one of your items, reducing the risk of them being used and shared without permission.

Optical Character Recognition

PastView Essentials' inbuilt optical character recognition module provides a credit-based solution for making typed text searchable. By selecting OCR during the initial upload stage, images will be rendered and any text found will be stored against each item. This allows users to perform a search through your website for the content of a document, rather than merely a name or date. OCR will then compare this content against the items in your collection and return any that match, taking your user to the page they are looking for with the word or phrase highlighted automatically.

Page Explorer and High Res Zoom

Page Explorer is PastView Essentials' core image viewer. Perfect for photographs, as well as large scale images, such as maps, enabling users to view every intricate detail through effortless high resolution zooming in incredibly fine detail. Simply hover the cursor over an area using a mouse and double click, or pinch-and-zoom on smart phones and tablets. Whatever device your users engage with, their experience will always be of the highest quality. Panning across images is also easy and intuitive: just click and drag with a mouse or touch and drag on touchscreen devices.

Digital Downloads

Please refer to our Quote Calculator for the costs related to revenue generation modules

Generating income through an offer of ‘image digital downloads’ is PastView’s most popular and profitable revenue method amongst our many users. By default, every digital item held within PastView Essentials, is published to your website ‘free of charge’ - meaning members of the public can search, browse and view your collections and items without making a payment. However, you may decide to impose a fee for members of the public to access some or all of your items. Setting prices and enabling ‘digital downloads’ within or across collections is as simple as selecting an item, choosing a price and clicking save!

Physical Print Requests

Please refer to our Quote Calculator for the costs related to revenue generation modules

Perfect for generating revenue from photographic collections, this feature enables your users to purchase glossy physical prints in size A5, A4 and A3 and is a great way to extend your income generation methods. And don’t worry if you are unable to provide a print fulfilment service in-house. TownsWeb Archiving can optionally take care of this for you by accepting the order, and then locating, printing and despatching the print(s) directly to your customer. All you need to consider is what to set the profit margin to!

Protected Access

Please refer to our Quote Calculator for the costs related to revenue generation modules

Restricting access to specific groups is possible using our Protected Access module. Perhaps you only wish to grant access to your digital archive to an existing list of subscribers or employees? Perhaps you would like a “Members Only Area”? This module allows specific groups of users to be managed , meaning that when a user enters their own secure credentials, only then will they gain access to your online collections.

PastView has proved very able and extremely helpful in supporting us to bring our local heritage alive for local people

– Lisa Keys, Wigan Archives & Local Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

Minimum of £89.99/month.
The platform, website, support and training is being offered completely free for the first 12-months. Following this initial period there will be no upfront costs, just an annual fee for the licence and storage. This is going to be £79.99/month for a licence and £10.00/month for 10Gb of storage.

10.00/month per 10Gb.
PastView is completely flexible in scale; you pay for what you need. Additional storage can be purchased in 10Gb bundles and costs £10.00/month (£120.00/year). If you wish to add additional storage in your first 12-months this can be done at any time.

We’re sure you will love PastView Lite and hope that you will wish to continue publishing your collections through PastView! However… There is no obligation to continue the service past the 12-month initial free period. Please read the contract which will tell you when you will need to notify us during your first 12-months that you do not wish to continue. This will ensure that we do not renew domain names, SSL certificates and storage.

What isn’t!
PastView is supporting a number of organisations in different ways, but ultimately through the promotion of their digital collections and engaging audiences. PastView offers the digital collection professional a wide range of tools, tools that have a proven track record of revolutionising the way users engage with digital content. At the core, PastView is all about publishing collections online and as such has a huge array of publishing and management features available.

Offered for free over the next 12-months to demonstrate it’s value.
Sustaining the platform following the initial free period will require ‘buy in’ and we’re happy to help where possible, if this is internally or externally supported. PastView is an incredibly powerful tool and it is hosted online so that staff and volunteers can be up and working on the platform very quickly. Uploading images, adding metadata, tagging images and even collecting information from the public is all possible, all that’s required is an internet connection. The platform has the ability to generate revenue, monitor visitors, engage users, collaborate with other organisations and, ultimately, promote your organisation’s heritage.

Once you are part of the PastView community, training is key and is offered on a weekly basis. Our intention and vision is that, over time, more and more organisations, just like yours, will be linked together so that the PastView community can evolve and grow. Users are already benefiting from shared professional dialogue, discussing topics of interest and sharing best practice and advice.

The PastView Lite package offers a huge number of additional features, including revenue generation (digital downloads, prints and protected access/members areas), as well as digital collections management and publishing features such as entities, 3D page-turning, audio-visual uploading, website theming and styling and much more, allowing your collections to grow.

To help organisations like yours.
PastView is a community led platform and during this crisis TownsWeb Archiving, developers of PastView, want to provide a trusted platform so that organisations can showcase and make accessible their collections. Whether you currently have a platform or not, it is a great opportunity to check out PastView and let the results speak for themselves. We’re confident that a wide range of organisations will benefit and we continue to see the many benefits of a growing community and the diverse knowledge and rich experience that comes with working together.

Get your digital collections online with PastView Lite – Limited availability

Book your onboarding meeting today