Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland

Revealing the Invisible – A Conservation Conversation

Conservation and scientific specialists from the Core Partner archives within the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland at Trinity College Dublin discuss the fascinating discoveries being revealed by their latest investigations into ancient archival records.

Long before the terrible fire of 1922 which destroyed the Public Record Office of Ireland, historical records were being slowly lost to damp, decay and vermin. Writing became obscured by soot and grime or bleached by sunlight, the written record hidden within crumpled parchment and paper too brittle and fragile to be unfurled. History became invisible.

Now, research by expert conservators and heritage scientists from the National Archives of Ireland, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, and The National Archives UK, in collaboration with the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland, is revealing the invisible.

This fascinating conversation will discuss research on some of the earliest paper records in Ireland, medieval parchments obscured by earlier treatment or burnt in the disastrous Four Courts fire of 1922. It will also showcase the vital role of conservation in protecting our shared heritage and preserving these precious records for future generations

Supported by the Trinity Long Room Hub.


  • Ciarán Wallace, Deputy Director, Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland, Trinity College Dublin
  • Zoë Reid, Keeper of Public Services and Collections, The National Archives of Ireland: Moderator
  • Sarah Graham, Head of Conservation, The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland: Revealing Archbishop Swayne’s 15th-century register
  • Marc Vermeulen, Senior Conservation Scientist, The National Archives (UK): Invisible wavelengths, visible history: Shining a new light on Irish medieval records
  • Jessica Baldwin, Senior Conservator, The National Archives of Ireland: Virtually unwrapping: Exploring the use of X-ray microtomography

Attendance is free, all are welcome.

Please register here.

The Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland research programme is supported by the Irish Government through funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under Project Ireland 2024.

Date and time
Monday, 4 March 2024, 7:00 PM

Online via Zoom,
Please click button below

Book now