A new website has been launched to document Derry’s prominent role in the civil rights movement in the North.

The site also charts the history of the Labour and trade union movements in the city.

The Tower Museum has launched the new interactive website, containing information on the extensive ‘Speeches, strikes and struggles’ collection currently available at the museum.

The website, www.speechesstrikesandstruggles.com offers a glimpse of some of the unique pieces within the museum’s collection such as; a draft Bill of Rights document for Northern Ireland, leaflets on the ‘Rent and Rate Strike’ and copies of publications, photographs and murals.

Other pieces relate to ‘The troubles’, civil rights and labour and trade union movements, within the city and district over the past forty years.

Margaret Edwards, Visitor Services, Museums and Heritage Manager at Derry City and Strabane District Council said the museum was delighted to have received funding from Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund to provide the additional service.

“Some of the items within the collection are extremely rare and many of the murals are no longer in existence.

“This website and the collections will be of interest to anyone researching any area of contemporary Northern Ireland.

“The museum launched the ‘Speeches, Strikes and Struggles’ project in June this year and has provided visitors and residents, local communities and schools with the opportunity to learn, engage in dialogue and debate upon significant movements and events that have influenced the recent history of our city.

“To be able to launch the project online now enables us to showcase it to a wider audience, throughout the world.

“The collection contains significant items of interest to historians, historical groups, students or anyone interested in contemporary Northern Ireland history. It includes; the Bridget Bond collection, containing items that relate to the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) movement within Derry and Northern Ireland and archive material from the Derry Housing Action Committee (DHAC) and other civil rights related matters; the Gerry Lynch Collection, which refers to the trade union and labour movements of the city and the Peter Moloney Collection that deals with the history of significant events in both Ireland and Northern Ireland, spanning over 100 years with a particular focus on the decades from the 1970’s to the present day.”

Over the coming months the Speeches Strikes and Struggles project will be holding a series of workshops and lectures at the Tower Museum.

A project roadshow is also available for schools and groups.

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