The National Monuments and Buildings Record (NMBRNI) has an extensive photographic record, accumulated over 60 years. It contains records of our State Care monuments, scheduled monuments and listed buildings, reflecting the work of recording, protecting and conserving our built heritage.

National Monuments and Buildings Record (NI)

The National Monuments and Buildings Record (NMBRNI) holds over 50,000 publicly accessible black and white photographs, over 100,000 colour slides and an increasing number of digital or digitised images.

The NMBRNI also holds a number of photographic collections. These include Professor James Curl's Northern Ireland photographs, material deposited by the architectural historian, Sir Charles Brett and the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society (UAHS), GP Bell as well as copies of selected items from the Welch, Hogg, Greene and Lawrence collections from the holdings of other organisations.

McCutcheon collection

This is a unique and extensive industrial heritage collection, consisting of over 27,000 black and white photographs taken by Dr. W. A. McCutcheon as part of a comprehensive survey of industrial heritage sites commissioned by the then Ancient Monuments Advisory Council and carried out during the 1960s.

An extensive and important collection, it also comprises the cumulative working notes, slides and papers of Dr McCutcheon in the preparation of his major work, The Industrial Archaeology of Northern Ireland (1980). This work involved detailed inspections, assessments and documentation of much of the material remains of 18th and 19th century industry and communications existing in the province at that time. Copyright: NIEA

University of Cambridge aerial photographs

This is a collection of aerial photographs taken by JKS St. Joseph, working for the Cambridge University Department of Aerial Photography.

An indexed collection of almost 1,000 black and white prints is available for reference purposes. It comprises mainly oblique aerial photographs, taken all over Ireland from 1951-1955 and 1963-1973. These items include panoramic views of landscape and scenery and individual elements such as prehistoric settlements. Special attention is paid to areas of ecological importance and to archaeological sites.

The collection provides an important, visual record of the Irish landscape, documenting the existence and the changing conditions of archaeological sites and other physical features. Copyright: University of Cambridge.

Welch collection

Belfast photographer, Robert John (RJ) Welch (1870-1939) was the leading photographer of his generation operating in Northern Ireland. He built up a high reputation as a photographer covering a wide range of fields including geology, botany, topography, zoology, archaeology and ethnography. His work dealt with all of Ireland, but especially Ulster, developing an impressive portfolio of images.

The MBR holds a selection of his photographs dealing with monuments and buildings. These are for reference only to aid research. Purchase and permission to publish must be obtained from the Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland. Copyright: Ulster Museum.

Green collection

The William Alfred (WA) Green Collection is a major source of visual information about urban and rural life in Northern Ireland during the early 20th century. A meticulous and careful photographer with a keen appreciation of history, W.A. Green (1870-1958) took photographs of an antiquarian, archaeological, geological and botanical nature.

The MBR holds a selection of his photographs dealing with monuments and buildings. These are for reference only to aid research. Purchase and permission to publish must be obtained from the Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland. Copyright: Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.

John Seeds architectural collection

John Seeds was a Belfast–based architect who served as a representative of the Royal Institute of British Architects on the Ancient Monuments Advisory Committee of the Government of Northern Ireland from 1934. As a member of the Georgian sub-committee, Seeds undertook a survey of the architecture of the Georgian period in Northern Ireland.

This collection includes photographs (glassplate negatives and prints) and site notes from his survey from 1934 – 1942. It also includes official papers, letters and reports relating to the Northern Ireland Planning Advisory Board on which Seeds served as a representative of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects from 1942.

The collection is particularly useful because it contains numerous images of Georgian architecture in Northern Ireland in the 1930s, many of which have since been demolished. Copyright: NIEA.

Structure and contacts

View the Historic Environment Division structure and contacts

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