Annual Conference

The Irish Museums Association (IMA) will open registration on 18 December 2017 for 'Collecting the Now', held in association with Fermanagh County Museum on 2 and 3 March 2018 in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. This conference is part of a two-year programme exploring contemporary collecting in museums.

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.


How can museum collect for the future and represent the 'now'? Do 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?


Speakers are invited and selected through an open call for papers. Our keynote speakers will include Finbarr Whooley, director of content at Museum of London, Kassandra O'Connell, head of the IFI Irish Film Archive and Corinna Gardner, senior curator of Design and Digital at Victoria and Albert Museum. A full list of speakers and details of the schedule will be available from mid-January 2018.


Bookings will open on 18 December 2017.


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: