The Architectural Record is maintained and administered by the Built Heritage branch of the Department of the Environment and Heritage Service for Northern Ireland. It comprises a series of records on over 15,000 historic buildings and features located throughout the 6 counties of Northern Ireland both past and present. Most of the buildings included have been recorded for their special architectural or historic interest and can include anything built over 30 years ago ranging from prominent stately homes and corporate buildings to water pumps and post-boxes. Arranged geographically according to county, a separate file is maintained for each structure. Each file contains a range of pertinent information relevant to each individual property or structure although the level of this information can vary with properties in Armagh, for instance, being particularly detailed. A Second Survey of "listed" buildings is currently underway by the Department which will greatly enhance existing records with detailed descriptions of structure and development and historical overviews provided for each. Individual references to each site in the Second Survey are stored on the Northern Ireland Buildings Database which is accessible on-line. A separate series recording details of some 2000 local architects practicing in Northern Ireland is also maintained by the Department. This record was compiled during the 1970s from various directories and guides and includes lists of works, addresses and publications etc relating to each architect then operating in the province.
The Architectural Record is a unique and comprehensive working record of the many historic and/ "listed" structures and features to be found in the north of Ireland, particularly for the Co. Armagh area. It also includes information on important buildings that have been lost to the national heritage.
Approx. 17,000 files comprising a range of original and copied papers and photographs. 15,000 of these files relate particularly to individual structures with the remaining 2,000 relating to actual architects.
Original files can be accessed on-site at the offices of the Monuments and Buildings Record. Details can also be accessed online via the Northern Ireland Buildings Database
The AR is an evolving resource developing as a result of on-going work by the department.