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Tower Museum to Shine Spotlight on Maritime History

18 February 2016

The Tower Museum will be hosting a number of talks over the coming weeks focusing on the exploration of some fascinating aspects of our local maritime history.

Following on from the success of last month’s talk on the famous White Star Liner The Laurentic, the second in the ‘What’s in the Archive?’ series will focus on Council’s Maritime Archives and Art Collections, highlighting the importance of ‘Our Maritime Heritage’.

Archivists Ronan McConnell and Kirsty Osborne will be taking a look at some beautiful hand painted vistas of the city, as well as detailed hand drawn maps and original posters harking back to the busiest era of the Derry’s riverside.

The talk will seek to recreate a sense of Derry’s status as a bustling successful port and maritime hub. And it will examine its role as a departure point for some of the thousands of emigrants forced to leave these shores in the hope of a better future elsewhere, as Ronan explained.

“The Council archive collection features a number of artefacts which strikingly capture the activity at the Port, and how it was the centre of industry and day to day life here in the city. Myself and Kirsty will be looking at some of the posters which advertised passages for emigrants and some of the pictures and maps of the time which depict the Derry of a bygone era.”

This free event takes place on Tuesday February 23 at 12.30pm, and places can be booked by contacting the museum.

For anyone interested in tracing their family roots, local genealogist Brian Mitchell will also be using some of the Museum’s maritime resources to help locate lost ancestors in March and April.

In two special workshops Brian will assist anyone interested in using Irish Passenger Lists to find out more about family members who may have been among the many local people who boarded ships from here in the hope of a better life.

Brian will guide people through the types of records available to trace ancestors’ journeys, including newspapers, government papers, business records, transcripts on the internet and passenger departure lists. The workshops are free and will take place on March 14 and April l1 at 2pm.

Anyone interested in the above talks or workshops is asked to RSVP to the Tower Museum at [email protected] For more information on the talks contact Tel: 028 7137 2411.

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