Cork Archives Pilot Project

Welcome to the Cork Archives Institute & Clonakilty Museum Pilot Project Site


Digital Imaging of Documents from our Collections of Estate Papers: 'The Landed Estate in Cork'.

This Project was chosen for funding under the Ask About Ireland Cultural Heritage Project, a six month initiative co-ordinated by the Branching Out Steering Group Cultural Heritage Panel, managed by An Chomhairle Leabharlanna (The Library Council) and funded by the Department of the Environment and Local Government and The Heritage Council

Project Outline

  • Selection of a range of types of documents from a number of collections (Over 300 items selected)
  • Verification/Protection of copyright
  • Generation of archival descriptive information to the appropriate standard (ISADg)
  • Generate & record Metadata
  • Benchmark imaging specifications, acquisition of equipment
  • Conservation and pre-capture preparation of originals
  • Scanning/imaging of items A3 scanner and digital camera
  • Digital Master Image Long Term Storage/Preservation
  • Creation of web-ready images and text


The content was made up of a selection of documents from our numerous collections of estate records (and some items relating to the Hungerford estate from Clonakilty Museum). Many of these records originated from solicitors' offices and consist of legal and financial documents such as leases of land, wills and marriage settlements, rental account books showing the details of tenants' rent payments and terms, correspondence with land agents, middlemen and solicitors; maps and drawings of segments of the estate by expert cartographers. Occasionally found in these records are more personal papers relating to the family who owned the estate for example private correspondence with other families or family photographs. Selection was centred on providing an interesting and informative cross-section of material, as well as examples of the range of physical types of archival documents.

The landed estate system was a dominant feature of Irish life for over 3 centuries. Many of the events and issues of modern Irish history are related in some degree to the system of landed estates, for example the Land War and the Great Famine. At local level the landed estate was the centre of the rural economy and gave rise to a complex system of letting and subletting, from the landlord to the large farmer to the cottier and small tenant. Those estate records which survive are a vital source of information for local history, sometimes containing recorded information which is unavailable elsewhere, such as the names of small tenants or those working on the estate.
Project Manager: Brian McGee, Archivist.
Project Staff: Peter Foynes, Contract Archivist, Eneclann Ltd, Westley Forsythe, Postgraduate Student, U.C.C. and Michael Higgins, Clerical Assistant.

Copyright and Legal Notice

The copyright and all other intellectual property rights of all the contents on this site rest with Cork Archives Institute and Clonakilty Museum. Material on this site may be retrieved solely for personal, non-commercial use. Material may not be otherwise published, copied, modified, broadcast, transmitted or otherwise distributed without the expressed permission of the Cork Archives Institute and Clonakilty Musuem.

To obtain permission or to request publication-quality images please contact Cork City and County Archives and Clonakilty Museum.

Cork Archives Institute and Clonakilty Museum do not make any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of information on this site. Cork Archives Institute and Clonakilty Museum hereby accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience which may occur from use of the information on this site.


For further information on the contents of this pilot project site, on digitisation, or for comments on the web site contact:

Brian McGee, Archivist, Cork City and County Archives.

Cork City and County Archives web pages:

Address: Cork City and County Archives, Great William O'Brien Street, Blackpool, Cork.

Tel. 021 4505886 or 021 4505876   Email

For further information on Clonakilty Museum, contact:

Michael O'Connell, Secretary, Museum Society, Western Road, Clonakilty, Co. Cork. Tel. 023-33115

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