Conservation of rentals and journals of the Collon estate 1825-1925

With the assistance of funding from the Heritage Council, Louth County Archives Service has provided professional conservation treatment on rentals and journals of the Collon estate dating from 1825 – 1925.  The collection, known as The Emerson Papers, was deposited in the County Archives Service by Mr John Emerson last October.

The Emerson Papers originate from Alfred H. Wynne and John Emerson Senior and Junior, who acted as agents for the Collon estate in Co. Louth during the period 1865-1925.  The depositor, Mr John Emerson, is a descendent of John Emerson Senior and Junior.

The collection contains approximately 20 volumes. The earliest volume is a timber book, 1825-1832, which records tenants' planting on the Collon estate. The other volumes include rentals, rent receipt books, and account books recording Collon estate between 1865-1925, but principally 1872-1906.  The collection spans the period of the Plan of Campaign (1886-1891) and relates partly to the Massereene estate in Collon which is of particular interest as the only estate in Co. Louth where the tenants adopted the Plan of Campaign and combined to demand a reduction of rent.

When received by the Service the volumes contained several conservation problems including various levels of surface dirt, structural damage to the text blocks and bindings, in addition to insect damage and active mould spores.  Conservation work which included surface cleaning, structural repairs, binding repair and other work has recently been completed.  Archives staff are now finalising a catalogue of the collection before the collection will be open for members of the public to view in its Reading Room.  It is hoped that this will be completed in September.  Anyone interested in the collection can contact the County Archives Service by telephone 042-9339387 or by email archive@louthcoco.ie.