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Local Studies Library collection

P000102023 theatre royal

A project has now been completed to catalogue and make available digitally around 12,000 images of Plymouth. The images have come from Plymouth Central Library’s Local Studies collection and thanks to the work of staff and volunteers from the record office, these are now fully keyword-searchable and available on our online archive catalogue page. Copies of the images can also be purchased for a small fee.

The images tell the story of Plymouth throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, a time when Plymouth has undergone considerable change and development. The earliest image is a black and white print of the Royal Hotel, Theatre and Athenaeum, (PCC/76/5/11190) and shows an almost unidentifiable scene of the area around the current Theatre Royal and Reel Cinema.

P000074419 blitz

The collection also marks the destructive force of the air raids during the Second World War with various images of war damage on a frightening scale. One black and white photograph of George Street (PCC/76/5/313) shows extensive damage to the Prudential building, the Western Morning News building, Frankfort Street and King Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel.

Other Plymouth Central Library Local Studies Material

In addition to the image collection, over 5000 archives and ephemera have been transferred to the record office and catalogued. The descriptions for these documents are available to view on our online catalogue.