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Survey of material salvaged from the Public Record Office of Ireland in 1922

In 2017, the National Archives, in partnership with the Irish Manuscripts Commission, began a survey of archival material salvaged from the Public Record Office of Ireland, following the destruction of the Record Treasury during the Civil War in 1922.

This collection of 378 brown paper parcels had not been opened since they were recovered in the aftermath of the destruction.

The material was assessed, documented and photographed. A condition assessment noted the condition of the each item and made conservation recommendations. Condition grades were assigned to the documents in a range from Grade 1 (Stable) to Grade 5 (Vulnerable). The documents range in date from the 14th Century to the early 20th Century.

The parcels of parchment and paper were damaged in a similar fashion and were bundled together during the salvaging process. A considerable proportion of the parchment documents were distorted and fused with other leaves of parchment, due to the heat of the fire.

The second phase of the project will surface clean and stabilise the 28 items that have been given a condition Grade 1 listing (Stable). These Grade 1 items include:

  • 13 paper items, containing approximately 1,324 documents. These mainly consist of multiple documents that are folded and grouped together.
  • 15 parchment items, containing over 500 leaves of parchment. These consist of both large rolls and folded documents.

Some highlights from the Grade 1 items include:

  • Roll of attorneys, 1785–1834
  • Law Exchequer: 250 Writs of Summons, 1894
  • Revenue Exchequer Accounts from Dublin port on wheat premiums, 1762–1789.
  • Roll of Certificates issued to adventurers for land, 1665–1668

Common Pleas: Outlawries, Estreats of 1741 & 1743. The rolled leaves of parchment in this document are fused in the middle with dirt and soot is fixed to the swollen collagen fibres.