The Great Parchment Book at London Metropolitan Archives

From 2010 to date, LMA has been engaged in a major and ground-breaking partnership project involving the conservation, digital reconstruction and online publication project of the Great Parchment Book. You can explore the project and the Great Parchment Book on the Great Parchment Book website.

The Great Parchment Book of the Honourable The Irish Society is a major survey, compiled in 1639, of all the estates in Derry managed by the City of London through the Irish Society and the City of London livery companies. It represents a hugely important source for the City of London's role in the Protestant colonisation and administration of Ulster. Damaged as the result of a fire at Guildhall in 1786, it has been unavailable to researchers for over 200 years. However, the manuscript has remained part of the City of London's collections held at London Metropolitan Archives (LMA reference CLA/049/EM/02/018).


In 2013-14, the virtual reconstruction of the Great Parchment Book featured as the highlight of an exhibition in Derry Guildhall - Plantation: Process, people, perspectives - as part of the commemorations of the 400th anniversary of the building of the city walls, alongside one of the damaged folios as a reminder of its damaged state. In the longer term, the digital reconstruction and transcription will provide a lasting resource for those researching the Plantation of Ulster.

Contact Philippa Smith