Monksgrange Archives: Conservation of 18th and 19th Century Letters and Papers

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Funded under EYCH Community Grant Scheme 2018
Professional conservation and preservation treatment to 18th and 19th century letters and papers held in the Monksgrange Archives. The items for treatment were selected by a consultative team including historian/achivist Dr. Philip Bull, paper conservation specialist Susan Corr and archives manager Jeremy Hill.

Items were chosen on the basis of importance of content, extent of treatable damage and expectation of reliable result.The material selected was very badly damaged by mould and many items were in a state of extreme fragility, a condition that renders them unusable by researchers and most difficult to store. Mould damaged areas have now been treated and the paper supported with appropriate application of tissue which makes them available for careful handling and access. Some more delicate papers have been inserted into Mylar sleeves for added stability. The items were treated off-site at the conservation specialist’s laboratory. The sketch book containing topographical, architectural and portrait pencil drawings dating from 1830 had loose pages and the binding structure was damaged. The paper was seen to have foxing and soiling and there was delamination of the woven sheet pages due to past exposure to high humidity. The album was disbound, dry cleaned, washed and deacidified.

Following conservation treatment the album was pressed and rebound and the pages have been digitally recorded. The documents are now in a fit state and condition to allow sensitive handling in the course of research and can be safely stored in archival boxes at Monksgrange Archives.

Also treated were 18th and 19th century genealogical records of the Orpen family of Co. Kerry. These records include details of the female families brought in through marriage.