RCB Library – Architectural Drawings Catalogue

19th Century map of the Dioceses of Ireland

The Representative Church Body Library is, inter alia, the archives of the Church of Ireland. Among its resources are important collections of architectural drawings. The largest of these is a miscellaneous collection of 19th and 20th century architectural drawings of Church of Ireland churches and cathedrals. The provenance of this collection is uncertain but it seems likely that it was part of the archive of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (EC), who were established by the Church Temporalities Act of 1833 with a remit to encourage church building, and that it was transferred to the Representative Church Body at disestablishment. Other drawings, mostly from diocesan architects, were subsequently added to the collection.

In 2011 the Library secured a grant from the Esme Mitchell Trust to conduct a pilot project to digitize and catalogue these drawings and the architectural historian, Dr Michael O’Neill was engaged to carry out this work. Following the successful completion of the pilot project the Library was awarded a grant of €12,000 under the Built Heritage element of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the GaeltachtEnvironmental Fund by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and this has enabled Dr O’Neill to complete the first phase of the catalogue.

The purpose of this project is to make an important heritage resource freely available and, by providing surrogates, to assist with the conservation of a unique collection which is in part, very fragile.

The first phase of the catalogue contains drawings from the dioceses of Ardagh, Achonry, Ardfert, Armagh, Cashel, Clogher, Clonfert and Cloyne. Connor and many more dioceses have now been added. Dioceses completed by April 2018

The Architectural Drawings Catalogue was subject of the RCB Library’s Archive of the Month in February 2017. Please click here to view the article.

Funding is being sought to continue this project.

For further information please contact:

Dr Susan Hood
Librarian and Archivist
RCB Library
Braemor Park
Dublin 14
Tel: 01-4923979
Fax: 01-4924770
E-mail: Librarian and Archivist
Website: www.library.ireland.anglican.org