Grant for Conservation of Irish Agricultural Museum Archive

Grant for Conservation of Irish Agricultural Museum Archive

The Irish Heritage Trust is delighted to have received two grants from the Heritage Council of Ireland’s Community Heritage Grant for the conservation of two significant archives at its properties Johnstown Castle, Estate, Museum & Gardens, Wexford and Strokestown Park & the National Famine Museum, Roscommon. A total of 313 applications were made to the Heritage Council of Ireland for the Community Heritage Grant, and the Trust has been awarded two of the 68 that were successful.

These archive conservation projects are now underway with our dedicated and specialised teams on the ground and we look forward to sharing the progress of this work, as part of the Irish Heritage Trust’s “Conservation in Action” programme. Please check our social media for updates on the work which will be completed before the end of November.

The Irish Agricultural Museum (IAM) Archive has been awarded a grant of €15,000 to improve the preservation, conservation and access to the Archive which is currently inaccessible to visitors.

The Irish Agricultural Museum Archive is one of Ireland’s great, but little known treasures. The archive holds one of the most comprehensive collections of documentary material related to Irish agricultural machinery in Ireland and offers an invaluable representation of Ireland’s agricultural history and heritage. The primary threat to the archive is the unsatisfactory environmental conditions and fragile state of the rare estate maps, both of which inhibit their positive public use, research and interpretation.

The grant will support upgrading the archive equipment which will greatly facilitate in safeguarding the collection of 6,000 books, a rare collection of 19th-century estate records, maps, and 1,000 agricultural records for future generations. Paper conservation of seven rare estate maps and architectural plans of the Johnstown Castle estate will be carried out by Dr Pat McBride of The Paper Conservation Studio. A new display case will allow the archive, and newly conserved estate records, to be showcased to the public in the Museum for the first time, and for many years to come.

“We look forward to safeguarding the Irish Agricultural Museum archive collection which will significantly help in preserving this rare collection for future generations. The general public will have access to the archive through temporary displays in the Irish Agricultural Museum and we look forward to creating greater visitor engagement with the archive, both locally and nationally. The project will also build awareness and understanding of Irish agricultural history”, says Dr. Emma O’Toole, Collections and Interpretation Manager at the Irish Heritage Trust.

This project received funding from the Heritage Council and the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage in 2020.