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Images of Lincolnshire

What is the Illustrations Index?

The Illustrations Index is a database of Lincolnshire related images (mostly photographs) held by the libraries and museums of Lincolnshire County Council.  It was set up in 1989 in order to make these images more readily accessible to enquirers from both within the service and the general public. It has become a valuable resource assisting with research, publications, and exhibitions; for local and family historians, regimental historians, educational projects, building restoration, planning applications, personal enquiries, and many, many others.

There are approximately 56,000 records already on the index, and therefore an excellent starting point to firstly help enquirers find out if the type of image they require exists, and secondly where the original of an image is stored. In addition, around 18,000 of the 56,000 records already have been digitised and attached to the relevant record, and therefore there are a substantial number of images readily available for an enquirer to access immediately. Adding images to the remaining records is continuing all the time.

The index is not a full list of all the pictures accessible in libraries and museums across Lincolnshire.  A survey taken in 1989 estimated that there were over 155,000 images available to be added to the index.  It seems very likely that the present number will be far greater, especially given the fact that Lincolnshire Archives was not even included in that original survey!  So, there is a lot of work and digitisation still to do, but nonetheless the index and images have proved to be an extremely popular and valuable resource, enjoyed by thousands.

How can the Index be accessed?

Traditionally, staff that work on the index have been required to search the index for enquirers but now the records are available to search via Lincs to the Past and those images for which Lincolnshire County Council have copyright ownership have been published online, alongside their record for the first time.

The  most common type of enquiries have tended to be parish and people related, but other topical enquiries are transport, sports, hobbies, occupations, ceremonies, processions and exhibitions, but really the list is endless.  Enquirers simply need to provide as much detail as they can to help narrow down searches and especially important are the date parameters. 

The type of search possible is as wide as the imagination of the enquirer; even the Lincolnshire link can be tenuous a one, as there even images of Yokohama in Japan on the index because the Lincolnshire Regiment were there in 1860!

Look Out For

OPEM exhibition at The Collection

28 January - 2 May 2017

Exhibition Opening Times: 10:00am - 4:00pm

OPEM 4 is the fourth biennial open exhibition hosted by The Collection and Usher Gallery, and will showcase the work of local and regional artists who were chosen by a pair of industry experts (writer/curator Elinor Morgan and artist Brian Griffiths) based on the quality and originality of their work. Hundreds of artists from around Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire and more entered into the competition, hoping to have their work featured centre-stage at a professional art exhibition.

The winning artists are:

• Reece Straw

• Jake Kent

• Stephanie Douet

• Jake Moore

• Selina Mosinski

• Matthew Chesney

• Ellen Brady

• Colette Griffin

This will be the first time some of these artists have exhibited with a professional institution. By winning the competition these artists will each receive money and supplies to fund the creation of an all-new original piece of work for this particular show. Other prizes include a £3000 purchasing/commissioning prize which has been sponsored by the Heslam Trust, while another artist will receive their own solo exhibition in The Usher Gallery.


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Lincolnshire's heritage is a rich, diverse and precious legacy. Your donations will be used to improve your visit through better exhibitions, increased digitisation and conservation work. Your generosity will help to preserve and keep vibrant our heritage for future generations. Thank you for your support.

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Last updated: 3 March 2011

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