IMA Annual Conference

2018 Irish Museums Association Annual Conference

Collecting The 'Now'

10 and 11 May, Dublin

RDS, Dublin. 10 and 11 May 2018


Do we have the objectivity to identify and select the items which will define our society for future generations? The IMA conference 2018 discussed how museums can collect for the future and represent the 'now'.

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.

Collecting the 'Now'  examined how museums can ensure that the collections capture contemporary cultural changes and shifting perspectives, moving on in some cases from the collected object. It's aim was to explore new, conceptual, collaborative and participatory ways to collect which will produce more imaginative and diverse museum collections and exhibitions for the future. 

This conference was presented with the support of our host venue, RDS Archive and Library and the financial support of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and The Heritage Council. 

2018 Conference Programme

2018 Conference Abstracts