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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

Battles and Dynasties

Battles and Dynasties

27 May - 3 September 2017

Battles and Dynasties explores the conflict for the crown from Domesday to present day through fascinating documents, paintings and artefacts each fundamental to our local and national heritage. The Exhibition runs from 27 May to 3 September 2017 at the Collection Museum.

It's an unmissable opportunity to see significant pieces on our doorstep here in Lincolnshire, including major objects and paintings that are rarely shown outside of London and some things from private collections that are never on display. Read more about the exhibition here


As part of the Battles and Dynasties the Domesday Book, the country's earliest surviving public record will be on show at Lincoln Castle this summer.

This is a rare and unmissable opportunity to see Domesday on display, in a castle built by the same king that ordered the document. The iconic document will be on display in the David P J Ross Magna Carta Vault. Read more about Domesday at Lincoln Castle here

This exhibition has been made possible as a result of the Government Indemnity Scheme. Lincolnshire County Council would like to thank HM Government for providing Government Indemnity and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England for arranging the indemnity.

Battles and Dynasties has been brought together by Lincolnshire County Council and Lord Cormack in partnership with the Historic Lincoln Trust, The National Archives and the British Library.


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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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