Annual Conference

The Irish Museums Association (IMA) programme is now available for the annual conference 2018, 'Collecting the Now', to be held on 2 and 3 March 2018 in Fermanagh House, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.

The IMA's annual spring conference is the main conference of the year in the Irish museum sector, giving museum professionals, academics, and practitioners from the wider cultural landscape the opportunity to meet and exchange views. A themed event, the 2018 conference is part of a two-year programme exploring contemporary collecting in museums.

The IMA would like to thank Fermanagh County Museum, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Heritage Council for their support.

CLICK HERE to visit the dedicated conference website.


This conference will explore how museum can collect for the future and represent the 'now', and whether we have the objectivity to identify and select the items which will define our society for future generations.

We live in a period of unparalleled human consumption making the decision about what to preserve from our lives - and what to discard - increasingly difficult. Ironically, despite the unprecedented material abundance of our age, significant aspects of contemporary life are happening in a virtual world which most museums are still struggling to document and record.

While museums seek to remain relevant, for many, their collections and collecting practices remain rooted in the past. Museums see themselves as egalitarian and democratic institutions, but this is not always reflected in their collections and the way they collect.

How can museums ensure that the collections capture contemporary cultural changes and shifting perspectives, moving on in some cases from the collected object? Are there new, conceptual, collaborative and participatory ways to collect which will produce more imaginative and diverse museum collections and exhibitions for the future?


Click here to view the conference programme. Abstracts will be available from early February 2018.


Speakers are invited and/or selected through an open call for papers issued each August.

Finbarr Whooley, Director of Content, Museum of London
Kassandra O'Connell, Head of the IFI Irish Film Archive
Owain Rhys, Community Engagement and Participation Manager, National Museum Wales
Corinna Gardner, Senior Curator of Design and Digital, Victoria and Albert Museum.
Eamonn Maxwell, Curator and Cultural Consultant, and Collection Adviser, Arts Council of Ireland
Ele von Monschaw, Easel Paintings Conservator-Restorer, National Gallery of Ireland
Johanne Mullan, Collections Programmer, Irish Museum of Modern Art
Dr. Audrey Whitty, Keeper of the Art and Industrial Division (Decorative Arts, Design and History), National Museum of Ireland
Dr Dea Birkett, Ringmaster of Circus250 and Creative Director, Kids in Museums
Brenda Malone, historian and museum professional, National Museum of Ireland
Hannah Crowdy, Head of Curatorial, National Museums Northern Ireland
Charles Duggan, Heritage Officer, Dublin City Council
Dr Linda King, Lecturer in Design and Visual Culture, Faculty of Film, Art and Creative Technologies, The Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) Dún Laoghaire
Daniel Breen, Acting Curator, Cork Public Museum
Briony Widdis, PhD Candidate : 'Engaging the Past' Research Group, Ulster University
Joanna Finegan, Assistant Keeper of Digital Collections, National Library of Ireland
Dr Karen Logan, Project Curator, National Museums Northern Ireland
Aalia Kamal, Cultural Map Project Manager, Dublin Culture Connects

Click here for short biographies of speakers presenting on Friday 2 March and Saturday 3 March 2018.


Click here for table of rates and to view payment options.

Click here to download a booking form and email back to the IMA.

Click here to complete an online booking form via google forms, click here for general website form.

Invoices can be requested if booking through an institution, please indicate purchase order number on the booking form.


Reservations must be made directly with the hotel of your choice, quoting 'Irish Museums Association' while making your booking. Please note, there is a limited range of hotels in Enniskillen town centre so we advise making an early booking. 

The Westville Hotel: This four-star boutique hotel has 28 rooms with a range of standard and executive rooms. The rate for delegates is £95 B&B, sole occupancy: Phone: +44 28 6632 0333

The Belmore Court & Motel. This 3-star hotel offers a range of opptions from £90.00 B&B in a Standard room sole occupancy, per night or £105.00 B&B in Superior room sole occupancy, per night to family rooms (two bedrooms, confirm directly with hotel for rate). Phone: +44 28 6632 6633 Rate available until 5pm, 1 February 2018.


From Dublin: Bus Eireann runs a regular service to Enniskillen with the first bus leaving at 7:30am, arrival to Enniskillen Ulsterbus Depot at 10:15am.

From Belfast: Ulsterbus runs a service to Enniskillen with the first bus leaving Europa Buscentre Belfast at 8:30am, arrival to Enniskillen Ulsterbus Depot at 10:40am.

For further information, please contact:

Gina O'Kelly | Irish Museums Association |11 Parnell Square East, Dublin D01 ND60
Tel: + 353 (0)1 412 0939 Mobile: + 353 (0)87 279 0518
Website: Email: