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Pre-famine census in the Russell Library

The library's conservation team is participating in a project involving the Russell Library, the History Department NUIM, the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates (CSHIHE) (the Centre is located within the Department of History at the National University of Ireland Maynooth,http://www.historicirishhouses.ie/) , Castle Howard in Yorkshire and Ancestry.com.

 

The Morpeth Testimonial Roll, wrapped around a gigantic bobbin, measures 412 metres in length and contains around 250,000 signatures gathered from across the whole of Ireland. Our role in this project is to facilitate an understanding of the physical object which will complement both research and the future curatorial care of the object itself. The Roll was created in 1841 at the instigation of the Duke of Leinster, Daniel O' Connell and others. It has been on loan to NUI Maynooth by Castle Howard  since 2009 and is in the care of the Russell Library.

 

On the 18th November 2010 a specially invited audience of historians, genealogists, archivists, librarians, digitizing experts and conservators gathered in Renehan Hall to hear papers on the history of Lord Morpeth and his connection with Ireland, the rediscovery of the roll presented to him on his departure from office in Ireland in 1841, its planned digitization and finally the conservation work carried out to date and its future care.

 

The next part of the project involves the digitization of the Roll in the Russell Library under the care and supervision of the conservation team.