One of the most exciting items of news last month came from Derry Genealogy Centre with an announcement that the Great Parchment Book of 1639 was, following its conservation, being prepared for digitisation and online searching.
The project has been managed by the London Metropolitan Archives and its dedicated blog has confirmed today that the transcription is now underway. You can find out more about this latest development, and follow the challenges faced by the project team, here.
The Great Parchment Book was a survey of all the lands in County Derry/Londonderry seized by the Crown and includes names, placenames and details of rentals and contracts. It has been described as the Domesday Book of Derry. All 165 parchment pages were badly damaged in a fire at the London Guildhall back in 1786, so they have never before been studied. This project, which has carefully conserved the fragile pages, will greatly enhance our understanding of the Plantation of Ulster.