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Ordnance Survey Maps Appeal

13 October 2016

An update on our fundraiser for the conservation of the Library's Ordnance Survey map collection.

A few months ago we extended an appeal to supporters and friends of the Royal Irish Academy to help us preserve our Library’s Ordnance Survey map collection. The aim was to match the Heritage Council grant of €4,000 which we had been granted earlier in the year. Out of the 38 OS volumes covering the 32 counties of Ireland, we prioritised five county maps for conservation.

Thanks to the generosity of supporters at home (the four corners of Ireland) and abroad (France, Canada and the US), we are pleased to report that over €2,300 has been raised to date.

The first three (Derry; Galway, vol. 1; Tipperary vol. 2) of the five volumes selected for conservation are currently being conserved by Paul Curtis, at Mucros Conservation Binding, based in Muckross House, Killarney, Co. Kerry. There, Paul has disbound the volumes, removed acid endpapers and relaxed and surface-cleaned creased or marked maps.  Titlepages, always the first to suffer in the case of bound maps, have been repaired and small tears have been repaired throughout using Japanese Kozo repair tissue. Linen guards have been added to reinforce the structure and ensure the viability of the maps for a long time to come. New acid-free endpapers have been inserted and the maps are currently being rebound, ready for their return to the Reading Room on Dawson Street. Then, Paul will commence work on the remaining volumes, Waterford and Wexford.

Paul Curtis, Mucros Conservation Bookbindery

We are very grateful to all of you who have rallied to our cause and who have so generously supported our conservation appeal. We still have a way to go ─ in fact, miles to go before we sleep.  That’s a good many more 6” sheets to get through!  So we call on all those of you who love maps, and above all your home county, to consider donating €20 or as much as you can afford, towards our fund.  Counties Carlow, Cavan, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Offaly, Limerick, Mayo, Meath or Westmeath all need some intervention.  The names of all who donate will be recorded in at least one volume of the maps and all names will be remembered in our Annual Review and individually acknowledged.   

You can donate online by selecting ‘OS maps fundraiser Library’ on the dropdown menu. Please use the comments section to let us know if there is a particular county you would like to support.

Thank you for your valued contribution to our work,

Siobhán Fitzpatrick


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