The national collection which contains everything from historic narrowboats to canal company uniforms and commemorative plates is being digitally catalogued and will be available to the public to search online during autumn 2013.
Debbie Lumb, head of museums and attractions said: "This is an exciting project that will give the public the chance to view our wonderful collection online. The project includes a major digitisation project of over 20,000 images from our archive many of which help show the important but often hidden social history of the canals; the navigators who built them; the boating families that traded on them; and more recently the volunteers who campaigned to save them. These images sit alongside pictures of historic boats and engineering plans and maps amongst others."
The next phase of the project to be delivered in 2014 will enable the public to purchase copies of online archive images and plans are in place to generate funding to allow a further 15,000 images to be digitised.
We are working with specialist teams at UK Archiving and SSL Limited to complete the first phase of this digitalisation project.