Plans for over 500 buildings to be made available

One of the detailed drawings submitted as part of the plans for the Hogg and Mitchell Factory (now flats at the bottom of Gt James Street).
One of the detailed drawings submitted as part of the plans for the Hogg and Mitchell Factory (now flats at the bottom of Gt James Street).

A new pilot project will see the plans for hundreds of Derry’s most famous buildings digitised and opened to the public.

The project is a joint initiative between Guildhall Press and Derry City Council’s Archive and Genealogy Service.

The organisations are working together on the 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.

The new resource will act as a unique resource for guiding the conservation of Derry’s historic townscape.

It will also ensure the collection of Historic Building Plans for Derry will be conserved, digitised and made more accessible.

The project partners said the new digital versions will help sustain the archive for future generations, historians, educational sector and professionals working in the field of built-heritage conservation.

This unique resource contains plans, elevations and design details for a range of significant buildings and architecture across the city including the Guildhall, the War Memorial, Carlisle Bridge and local schools, churches and residences.

The building plans were submitted for bye-law approval to the old Londonderry Corporation (now Derry City Council) and to the Londonderry Development Commission.

Funded by the NIE’s NGO Challenge Fund, the project will digitise around 500 plans and make them available to view online on a purpose built website for anyone to access.

A printed catalogue of the collection will be produced and disseminated across the North West to libraries, schools, universities and local interest groups.

A portable exhibition will be created for display at community venues and events., while a core team of volunteers will be trained in a number of archival and digital skills including conservation, cataloguing and digitisation.

Mayor of Derry Brenda Stevenson said: “This is a fantastic project that will give the general public and researchers greater accessibility to historic buildings of the city through an innovative archival digitsation programme,” she said.

Kirsty Osborn from Guildhall Press said Guildhall Press said she is delighted to have developed this project in partnership with Derry City Council’s Archivist.

“Following on from the success of the Portrait of a City Project in 2013, a citywide community digital scanning project, this innovative pilot programme will ensure this unique collection is safeguarded for the future,” she said.