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Museum calls on public to help make history!

17 May 2016

If you have an interest in local history you could have the chance to literally make it by contributing to an exciting new database holding the historic records of Derry City Cemetery.

The Tower Museum is currently collating information from the cemetery records which date from 1853, charting the information of all those buried in the cemetery up until 1916.

The records detail not only the names of those buried in the cemetery, but also their age, their place of birth and who their parents were, amongst other valuable information. Most importantly for those trying to trace their ancestry, they also reveal the location of the grave within the large cemetery site.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, said she would like to call upon the services of the public in transcribing the information so it can be stored in a searchable format for future research purposes.

“The City Cemetery records are an invaluable resource in terms of documenting the city’s history,” she stressed.

“The cemetery is a shared community space and offers a unique insight into our cross-community heritage. The records therefore contain a wealth of information about the city’s genealogical history, and it’s vital that we archive this information properly

“The museum has begun the process of collating the information and now I would love to see the project completed with the help of local people who can assist in transcribing the information. This will create a fantastic resource for local people and anyone interested in tracing their roots back to the city.”

Archivist with the Tower Museum Ronan McConnell explained that by taking part in the project local people can literally be a part of history in the making.

“Recently the Council’s Museum and Visitor Services, with the help of Guildhall Press and Derry City Cemeteries, have digitised the records up until 1916. But that information needs to be transcribed and eventually collated into a searchable database accessible to researchers, visitors and genealogists.

“The team here have arranged the records into ‘transcription packs’ which contain instructions and all the material needed to transcribe a small section of the records. We would now like volunteers to take a pack home and help create a searchable database that will be freely available to all.

“This project is a living example of how a community can come together and promote our shared local heritage on an unprecedented scale.”

A public workshop explaining how to use the transcription packs will take place on Wednesday May 25 at U3A Foyle. If you would like to volunteer for a transcription pack or would like to book a place on the workshop, please contact Ronan McConnell at the Tower Museum on 028 7137 2411 or email at [email protected].


Further press information can be obtained by contacting Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Marketing and Communications Section, Tel. 028 71 376504.