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Tower Museum, Derry City – have you heard about our Archive & Genealogy Service?


Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Tower Museum is proud to be a new partner with Ireland Reaching Out.  The Council’s Archive & Genealogy service provides advice and guidance for those interested in accessing collections and researching their family, or local history.  With Ireland Reaching Out we can ensure visitors have access to archive and genealogy collections, promote tourism to our region, connect diaspora and remain sustainable.


The Tower Museum is unique across Norther Ireland, providing an onsite Archive & Genealogy Service with the support of PRONI, the Irish Family History Foundation and Ireland Reaching Out.


The Archivist is responsible for the development of the Archive and Genealogy service.  She has responsibility for the care, preservation, access, interpretation and curation of the archive collection.  The collection includes a range of material from volumes and ledgers linked to Londonderry Corporation, dating from the seventeenth century to collections linked to the development of industries, transport, shipping and emigration, civil rights and the Troubles.  The collection also includes an extensive art collection, which includes local and international artists.  We have begun to digitise the art collection and some items are available to view with our partners at Art UK.

Interested in your ancestors or are you our Diaspora?

The journey for some 9 million of the Irish Diaspora, now living in Great Britain, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, began in Derry.  Their story begins on the Derry Quay, as their ancestors boarded a sailing ship at Shipquay Place, or stopped at the Gweedore Bar on Waterloo Street on their way from West Donegal to Glasgow on the Scotch Boat.  Or maybe their arrived to Derry by rail, lodging in Bridge Street and then heading down the river Foyle on a tender to connect with the transatlantic liners at Moville.  Your roots waiting to be connected!

The genealogy database was developed from 1982 to 1997, it contains over one million records dating from 1642-1930s, extracted from the major civil and church registers of County Derry.  In partnership with the Irish Family History Foundation it can now be accessed at   Whilst we do not carry out research we can advise and guide you on your discovery of your ancestors.

We are currently working on plans for a new Museum and Archive Centre based at Ebrington on the Waterside, of the city.  The project is funded by the Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the NI Tourist Board and will bring two historically significant buildings back to life.



Bernadette has extensive experience in the Archive and Museum sector, she previously worked with the National Library of Ireland Dublin, and Duchas at the Office of Public Works.  She has worked with Interpretation Designers and Architects in the development of interpretation across a number of sites, Researchers and Academics in programme development and publications, and has curated a number of exhibitions across Council venues.  She is a regular contributor to the sector press.  She also works as a Mentor to community and heritage based venues across the Council region.

Bernadette Walsh, Archivist     



The Genealogist Brian Mitchell is an extremely valuable resource.  Brian has many years of experience in the sector, he is an avid writer and has published numerous books, guides, leaflets and is a regular contributor to local, national and international press.  A Consuktant with Council for a number of years, he is a Member of Accredited Genealogist Ireland (MAGI) and he offers a free advisory service by email to those tracing their North West of Ireland roots.

Brian Mitchell, Genealogist      



Tower Museum Union Hall Place Derry BT48 6LU
0044 28 7137 2411
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