Over 7,800 of the 11,000 records including drawings, maps, slides, photos, videos and oral history held by Waterways Ireland, have been digitised, catalogued and uploaded to the searchable website archive.waterwaysireland.org. It is a unique and irreplaceable collection, now more accessible than ever to all.
For the first time visitors will be able to search an online catalogue and view some of the collections held in the Waterways Ireland Archive. The backbone of the archive is the Engineering Collection: it contains the original drawings tracing the development of the waterways from their conception in the eighteenth century through to their construction and their ongoing maintenance during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Included are engineer’s plans for locks, sluices, bridges and harbours, all providing a fascinating insight into our waterway heritage.
The new website features two collections personally donated to the Archive; the Ruth Delany Collection and the Ian Bath Collection. These images, scanned from the original transparency slides, showcase their efforts to document the campaigns to keep the waterways open, as well as reflecting their interests in recording the histories of the waterways.
The Oral History Collection features interviews with people with personal connections to the waterways. These are available as short easy to listen extracts and are searchable by waterways, people and by themes. Learning resources have been created around the themes and can be accessed from the learning site.