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Friday, August 6, 1999 Published at 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK


'Domesday Book' hits the Web

Internet collection will make heritage more accessible

A racing pigeon loft and more than 600 lavatories are to feature alongside the UK's architectural treasures in a Domesday Book on the Net.

More than 500 volunteer photographers have set out to capture stills of England's 360,000 listed buildings for a Web gallery run by English Heritage.

"It is the Domesday Book in cyberspace," said Ann Vink of Images of England, run by English Heritage's public archive, the National Monuments Record.

[ image: Cathedrals of industry are as valued as stately homes]
Cathedrals of industry are as valued as stately homes
Buildings as diverse as the Albert Memorial, Blackpool Tower and Battersea Power Station will be drawn together in the NMR architectural archive, set to be completed by 2002.

The project has been funded by a £3.09m Heritage Lottery Fund grant through the Millennium Festival Fund and will be one of the world's largest picture libraries.

Pigeon loft included

Each photographer involved in the project is a member of the Royal Photographic Society.

They will each take a single exterior image shot of around 700 buildings, from public land.

As well as country houses, the collection will include 197 palaces, 52 garden sheds, nine skating rinks, 663 lavatories and a racing pigeon loft.

Many of the early images of the NMR were taken on Box Brownie cameras in postwar days of rationing, and consist of two-inch square chemical-style prints.

The latest images will be much more accessible, the organisation said.

Users will be able to download medium quality pictures for private or educational use, but will have to pay for high-resolution pictures and those for commercial use.

A spokesman for the Victorian Society said: "If the new website can provide a fast way of finding pictures of individual buildings it will revolutionise our work."

Television personality Lloyd Grossman contributed the first photograph to the archive - a picture of Pendennis Castle in Cornwall.

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26 Apr 99†|†UK
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