The Irish Museums Association's Collections Forum is held each Autumn/Winter and focuses on bringing together curators, collection management and technical staff and conservators to discuss and disseminate information on different collection materials held in our museums: Photographic (2012), Textile (2013), Industrial and Working Artefacts (2014); Natural History Collections (2015); Library Collections (2016).
From discussing resources to individual projects, the IMA forums provide an informal platform to share findings and engage with colleagues working in museums, galleries and cultural institutions. They are intended as a place for critical engagement, where a lasting contribution can be made to the improvement of museum standards. A selection of papers is published in the Museum Ireland Journal.
The Irish Museums Association's Collections forum 2017 focused on military heritage collections, presenting case studies with the aim of discussing and sharing curatorial best practice. Held on the 14 November 2017 at National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Art and History, Dublin, it was convened by Lar Joye, National Museum of Ireland and Gina O'Kelly, Irish Museums Association.
Our museums' collections hold significant artefacts relating to the defence forces in Ireland, acting as a bridge between these and the communities they serve. Of extraordinary depth, the breadth of these collections encompass key periods of history and disciplines. They are important educational and research tools that enable us to understand the importance of the defence forces in the past and their relevance in the present.
However, they have their own special requirements and can raise many complex emotional and ethical issues. With changing perceptions of warfare, how do they depict the reality of combat and rise to the challenge of presenting controversial histories?
Additionally, many of military museums can have access issues, both intellectual and physical, and this forum will endeavour to discuss how our museums face and surmount the limitations they are faced with.
By exchanging practical knowledge and experience, the forum will aim to examine the role of military museums and aspects of museum practice such as display and contemporary interpretation.
Click here to access a copy of the schedule, speakers' biographies and abstracts.