We’re often asked for images, illustrations and photographs for a variety of reasons: house or building history, planning and model making are just a few. So we thought it might be useful to list a few sources of useful information about how to access images, both online and in our collections.
Firstly, with a title including ‘Picturing the Past’ we couldn’t forget to mention the fantastic website Picture the Past which has thousands of searchable images from throughout the East Midlands. If you are particularly taken with an image you come across, you can even have it made into a cushion cover, coaster, or mug, among other items!
The images range from the scenic
to the posed
to the celebratory
We also have an A-Z Illustrations card index in our collection Local Studies collection which can be accessed in our Card Catalogue Room in the Local Studies Library. This contains references to photos, illustrations, postcards and other imagery. These often provide clues as to what a building may have looked like internally as well as externally, railways, mines and industry, and family and public events.
You can also find photographs and images in our Archives. A search for ‘photograph’ under ‘description’ in our online catalogue revealed 633 results.
In addition, if you are looking for aerial photos, the incredibly useful website Britain from Above has some useful images from around Britain. This is one of Derby. Let us know if you have any useful sources for illustrations, photos or other types of images!
Yesterday morning I visited Ilkeston Library to deliver a new workshop introducing people to the various sources available for researching the history a Derbyshire building. It was a quiet session, with only two in attendance – though one had travelled all the way from Aston on Trent which took me quite by surprise!
With the opportunity to handle examples of all the original sources we talked about, learning how to use the record office catalogue and discussing more specific aspects of the research each was undertaking (one doing a history of their own house, the other looking more generally at their street and surrounding area, including a former laundry and former chapel), it was a very interesting and enjoyable session all round.
Suzanne and John discovering what information the different sources provide
Some of the key information we learnt about buildings in Ilkeston from the sources
So what did we look at? There are a number of key sources we would always recommend consulting whichever part of Derbyshire you are researching – not all of these sources exist for all parts, though these are the ones you are most likely to come across either at the record office, your local library or elsewhere. There is one very useful source not mentioned below, and this is the tithe map and award as there was never one created for Ilkeston title deeds … enclosure map and award … land values map and domesday book c1910 … photographs … electoral registers … sale catalogues … building plans … local publications … official town guides … rate books … local authority records … (click an image for more information)
Selection of Ilkeston resources from the archives and local studies collections ready to go
Bundle of title deeds for 5, 7 and 8 Thorpe Road, Ilkeston 1900-1983 (D5473/17/3/1-22)
Bundle of title deeds for two cottages on a close of land called Dennis Crofts in Ilkeston 1853-1883, including sale catalogue for initial sale of the property in 1853 (D5473/17/1/1-5)
Extracts of Ilkeston Enclosure Map and Award 1798 (Q/RI/58; Q/RI/3 pp 1-147)
Land Values Map and Schedule, 1910 (LV46/10; D595/R/1/59)
Title for Ilkeston Enclosure Map, 1798 (Q/RI/58)
Small sample of photographs of Ilkeston (LS Photographs)
Electoral registers for Ilkeston division 1926 and 1955 (ER/Ilk/1926/Spring; ER/Ilk/1955)
Selected sale catalogues from archives and local studies: Freehold estate, 1890 (D161/ES/306); Various Manners Colliery properties, 1933 (D331/25/73); 95-97 Bath Street, 2009 (S5424)
Local Studies publications about Ilkeston
Ilkeston Parish Poor Rate Book, 1849 (D3357/1)
Ilkeston Parish Poor Rate Book, 1849 (D3357/1)
Plan of properties in Ilkeston damaged during air raids 30 Aug – 5 Sep 1942 and scheduled for permanent repair (D5613/1/8)
Building plan register (D5624/1) and selected building plans (D5624/2/100-111)
We also looked at the census – available to access for free at your local Derbyshire library – and talked about newspapers available across the county.
Many of the sources we used during the session were picked somewhat at random purely as an example of what was available, but the stories we found we really quite fascinating – I can’t go into details now, though I do hope to be able to do so very soon.
If you want to find out more about doing a building history, we will soon be publishing a series of new research guides on our website, including three guides relating to building history. We will also be re-running this introduction to sources for building history in the coming months so keep an eye out for more information in the next Events brochure. In the meantime, do contact us for more advice if you want to get started now.