Events | IMA Event

Decolonising the Catalogues

19 November | 09:30 - 30 November | 13:30

Irish Museums Association

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The Irish Museums Association (IMA)'s Decolonising the Catalogues conference, takes place Tuesdays and Fridays from 19 - 30 November 2021

Decolonising the Catalogues is a programme of online talks and practical application workshops exploring how museums are looking beyond decolonisation as centred around acquisition practices, to find a more collaborative and ethical approach to all areas of work within the museum. 

It specifically aims to examine how museums have traditionally excluded marginalised ethnic groups from the process of documenting and describing material created from within their culture: the language used, from our databases to our displays. 

Decolonising the Catalogues will additionally examine how, in Ireland, there is also a need to address the ways in which the indigenous culture of Irish Travellers has been largely ignored or misrepresented by museums.


Programme at a Glance


Session One: Friday 19 November:

09:30 - 09:40: Welcome, Dr Audrey Whitty, Head of Collections and Learning, National Museum of Ireland

09:40 - 11:00: Dr Dan Hicks, Professor of Contemporary Archaeology, School of Archaeology, University of Oxford and Curator of World Archaeology, Pitt Rivers Museum

Session Two: Tuesday 23 November:

14:00 - 15:00: Dr Hannah Turner, Assistant Professor, School of Information, The University of British Columbia 

15:30 - 16:30: Marenka Thompson-Odlum, Research Associate, Pitt Rivers Museum

Session Three: Friday 26 November: 

09:30 - 11:00: Traveller Culture in Museums Panel: Dan Breen, Museum Curator of Cork Public Museum; Oein DeBhairduin, Author and Co-founder of LGBT Tara (Traveller and Roma Alliance); Rosa Meehan, Curator at National Museum of Ireland - Irish Folklife Division; Dr Hannagh McGinley, Education Officer for the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA); and Owen Ward, Traveller Education Officer at the Access Centre, NUI Galway. Chaired by Brian Crowley - OPW Kilmainham Gaol

11:30 - 12:30: Ananda Rutherford, Research Associate, Provisional Semantics, Tate

Session Four: Tuesday 30th November: 

10:00 - 11:00: Rachel Hand, Collections Manager, Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology Department, University of Cambridge, 

11:30 - 12:30: Miranda Lowe, Principal Curator, Crustacea, Natural History Museum. 

12:45 - 13:30: Aalia Kamal, Culture and Inclusive Heritage Officer, The Heritage Council. 


The IMA would like to acknowledge the assistance of Judith Finlay and Declan Walsh, National Museum of Ireland, and Brian Crowley, Kilmainham Gaol - OPW, in shaping this programme. 




General registration: €10 per session, €35 for the full conference.

IMA members: Free registration once logged into a registered account.  Click here to sign in if not already completed this step and free registration will automatically be applied below. Note for Institutional Members: all staff within the institution can avail of free booking but must register via an account holder or by emailing the IMA. 

Students:  20% of available tickets are provided free of charge to students until 7 November, who must use their academic email address to register, using discount code: studentfws1x.

Volunteer/Community-led museums: 20 tickets are provided to staff or volunteers at volunteer/community-led museums, allocated on a first come, first served basis by emailing