Spanning the last 150 years, these unique collections reflect Plymouth's changing cityscape. Thanks to 'Plymouth Pictured', a digitisation and cataloguing project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, many of these collections are available online through the links below.
As well as ensuring that each image is now copied and catalogued individually, the original albums and photographs can be archived and are no longer subjected to regular handling.
As a result, you can search a selection of the City Engineers, Rugg Monk and Edwardian Album images online by area or theme, or view some in the photo galleries in the pages linked below. Our education team have also used them to help deliver sessions to local schools, and images have also provided stimulus for reminiscence sessions which are led by our learning team.
Take a closer look at some of the highlights in our collections.
This collection of negatives highlights the demolition and rebuilding of Plymouth between 1949 to 1962.
Over 1,000 glass plate negatives of early 1900s Plymouth and the area, bequeathed by Richard Rugg Monk, a watchmaker and local Councillor.
A treasure trove of over 1000 photographs taken by John Henry Palmer RN. There are many images of local, naval and wider maritime interest.
Over 200 glass plate negatives dating from the 1930s to 1960s, mainly covering the war period in Plymouth and the post-war reconstruction work.
A collection of glass plate negatives showing family life in the early 1900s, and loose photographs and a photograph album of Plymouth’s architecture, taken in the mid-20th century.