Archive of the month


Conserving the Jamaica Slave Papers n the Penrhyn Collection

The Archives and Special Collections Department were recently awarded £12,000 by the National Manuscript Conservation Trust to conserve some of the fragile accounts belonging to the Jamaican estates owned by the Pennant Family of Penrhyn Castle, North Wales. These accounts include names, roles and other details of slaves working on the estate, and are of considerable historical significance for historians and genealogists alike. They are striking and disturbing documents, with slaves ‘accounted’ for as resources; for example death is referred to as a ‘decrease in slaves’ and birth as an ‘increase in slaves.’ They are evidence of a cruel, inhumane and predjudiced age and are of importance to the heritage of Jamaica in the context of the history of the slave trade throughout the world.

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The Archives are responsible for the care and storage of the early College Records as well as our Archives Collections and General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts. All of these manuscript collections are bound by one common factor, their relevance to the history, people and topography of North Wales. However, their subject areas are wide ranging and are of national as well as local historical interest.

Publication date: 1 May 2014