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Maps and Plans for Counties Mayo, Galway and Sligo 1753–1873

October’s Archive of the Month from the RCB Library returns to the Diocesan Records of Tuam, Killala and Achonry (D5 & D5A), focusing on the extensive collection of maps and plans (1753–1873) which forms an integral part of this important archive. The highlight of this presentation is making these maps and plans freely available in high–resolution images to researchers, historians, and the general public. The Library worked closely with Dr Michael O’Neill who imaged all of the materials and who uploaded them to a pre–existing online platform, the RCB Library’s Architectural Drawings website: https://archdrawing.ireland.anglican.org

One of the main functions of the RCB Library is to provide a repository in which the archives and manuscripts of the Church of Ireland can be stored, arranged and made available to researchers in a systematic fashion. A great example of this function was the completion of the project to archive and catalogue the extensive archive of the Tuam, Killala and Achonry diocese.  This collection, covering the period from c.1613 to 2000, includes a vast arrange of primary sources and unique items that expound the religious fabric of a huge geographical area of the western part of Ireland – specifically all of county Mayo, and much of counties Galway and Sligo, as well as a small portion of county Roscommon.

This is an example of an early survey of the glebe lands of Mayo, surveyed by Francis McGreevey in 1825. Some of the maps that form part of this collection contain details of important or historical buildings, as well as referencing the names of important landowners from the area. RCB Library D5/17/14
This is an example of an early survey of the glebe lands of Mayo, surveyed by Francis McGreevey in 1825. Some of the maps that form part of this collection contain details of important or historical buildings, as well as referencing the names of important landowners from the area. RCB Library D5/17/14

The maps and plans have been systematically arranged and a detailed catalogue–list is now available displaying over 80 maps, including some duplicates, showing either parish or district boundaries, and divided into four distinct categories. While the maps date from a very broad period of time (the earliest being a map of Kilmactigue in county Sligo from 1754), the vast majority date from the 1850s up to 1873, a time when land was at the forefront politically and culturally in Ireland. This period represented a period of transition for the Church of Ireland, with its Disestablishment from the state taking place on 1st January 1871.

The Library has digitised the drawing component of the collection because of the rich visual content, making it freely available to a worldwide audience. Another important factor in prioritising this collection for digitisation was the fragile nature of some of these maps, whether due to age or in many instances the fact that they were drawn on thin tracing paper. The rich descriptive information that can be seen in the detailed catalogue–list has been incorporated into the digitised collection, allowing for the material to be easier to find by researchers and those with an interest in the area.

The full Archive of the Month presentation can be viewed here.

For further information please contact:

Church of Ireland Press Office 
Church of Ireland House 
61–67 Donegall Street 
Belfast
BT1 2QH 

Tel: (028) 9082 8880 – from Northern Ireland & Great Britain

Tel: (048) 9082 8880 – from Republic of Ireland

Email: Press Office

Peter Cheney

Press Officer 07774 295 369

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