The collection consists of the holographic diary of English economist and author, Nassau William Senior. The diary, written between September 1 and October 23, 1862, formed one segment of Senior's travel diaries, later published as Journals, Conversations and Essays related to Ireland in 1868. The published edition covers the period 1852-1862.
Corrections have been made in the manuscript, most likely by the persons in conversation with Senior, and this is noted. Names omitted in the published volume are included in the manuscript. There are a few discrepancies in dates. For example, in Senior's recorded conversation with Stephen Spring-Rice (October 4), the work "received" has been changed to "secured," and the published page dates the meeting for October 5.
Entries in the diary begin with Senior's arrival in Dublin, accompanied by his daughter, Mary Charlottte Mair Simpson. They traveled to Londonderry, Westport, Killarney, Galway, Limerick, Mount Trenchard, and Cardtown. Senior describes the difficulties and inconveniences of travel in Ireland, but he adds interesting descriptions of the countryside, villages, and farms.
Senior recorded his conversations with Lord Monteagle, an advocate for Irish reform; Lord Monteagle's son, Septhen Spring-Rice, chairman of the Board of Customs; Stephen de Vere, Catholic member of parliament for Limerick; Lord Rosse, English astronomer; and Thomas Trench, an estate manager. Conversational subject included landlord-tenant problems, the clergy, agrarian crimes, workhouses, land subdivision, and differences between English and Irish labor. The final entries for October, 1862, take place at Birr Castle, Parsontown, the estate of Lord Rosse.