Strokestown Park Archive

The Archive at Strokestown Park is one of the largest collections of famine documents in the world... Most of these documents have not seen the light of day since they were generated
over 170 years ago.
Dr Ciaran Reilly, Maynooth University, Ireland

The Strokestown Park Archive is a complete record of economic, social and estate history over a 300-year period, related to the 19th and 20th century and gives a real insight into life on one of Ireland’s great estates. Considered to be of national and international importance, the Archive contains thousands of documents related to the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s.

Discovered by chance by Jim Callery in 1979, as he explored the house following its purchase, the material he found led to the establishment of the National Famine Museum at Strokestown where visitors can explore this tragic chapter in Irish history through the stories of the people, the tenants and landlords, who experienced it first-hand.

The Archive includes rentals and leases, correspondences, labour and financial records, as well as the names and stories of the tenants, cottiers and labourers, including the 1,490 men, women and children who were forced to emigrate in 1847; the gentry, overseers and middlemen, the craftsmen and traders whose lives revolved around and depended upon the estate.  In addition it contains a late 19th century collection of glass-plate negatives, a rare photographic collection, which has been professionally digitised.

In 2018 an International Advisory Committee was appointed to advise on the future of the Archive. This led to the appointment of a full-time professional archivist in 2019, who has been working on rehousing and cataloguing the Archive with the aim of safeguarding this significant collection for future generations and consolidating its reputation as an invaluable scholarly resource.

The Strokestown Archive is moving quickly to becoming not only a repository of vital importance to historians of the Great Hunger and the Irish estate system, but also a very
user-friendly facility. It is a welcoming research environment for scholars across the globe.

Dr. Mark G McGowan, Professor of History, University of Toronto, Canada.
Strokestown House outline