Historic Londonderry building plans make move to digital

Guildhall Press and Derry City Council's Archive and Genealogy Service are working together on an innovative pilot digitisation and cataloguing project which will see hundreds of Derry's historic building plans become available to the public for the first time
Guildhall Press and Derry City Council's Archive and Genealogy Service are working together on an innovative pilot digitisation and cataloguing project which will see hundreds of Derry's historic building plans become available to the public for the first time

Hundreds of Londonderry’s historic building plans are to be stored in an electronic archive, which will be made accessible to the public.

Publisher Guildhall Press, alongside Derry City Council’s Archive and Genealogy Service, will make around 500 of the old blueprints widely available for the first time.

It will contain plans and elevations for structures including the Guildhall, the War Memorial, Carlisle Bridge, plus churches, schools and homes.

In a statement announcing the move, the council said: “The new digital versions will help sustain the irreplaceable archive for future generations, historians, educational sector and professionals working in the field of built heritage conservation.”

The building plans had been submitted for bye-law approval to the old Londonderry Corporation and to the Londonderry Development Commission.

A printed catalogue of the collection will be produced and disseminated across the north-west of the Province to libraries, schools, universities and local interest groups.

In addition, a portable exhibition will be created for display at community venues and events.

Mayor Brenda Stevenson (SDLP) hailed it as “a fantastic project that will give the general public and researchers greater accessibility to historic buildings of the city”.

The project is just getting underway, and the first of the newly-digitalised documents are intended to become publicly-accessible online around April.