Events | IMA Event

Museums Basics course

21 March | 00:00 - 29 March | 23:59

IMA (Irish Museums Association)

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The Irish Museums Association's established Museum Basics foundation course is aimed at enhancing skills of staff and volunteers, primarily working in community and volunteer-led museums or cultural heritage organisations.

Museum Basics offers a practical introduction to the nature, context and operations of museums with the intention of providing practical examples and indicators of good practice and where and how further information can be found. It is bench-marked against agreed international standards and is relevant also to institutions embarking on the Heritage Council's Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI) or the NI Museum Council (NIMC) Museum Accreditation scheme.

Devised by the Irish Museums Association (IMA), trainers are museum experts in their respective fields and working in the sector.


Museum Basics consists of eight online sessions. Sessions last one hour and thirty minutes, over four days:

  • Introduction to Museums: Positions museums in their historical, social and cultural context. Provides participants with an understanding of the function of museums and how they are organised in Ireland. Trainer: Lar Joye, Dublin Port Heritage Director
  • Collection Care: Introduces broad collection care principles and offers a practical introduction to the principles of preventive conservation covering storage, handling and correct methods of display. Trainer: Sven Habermann, Conservation Letterfrack
  • Interpretation and Display: Participants are encouraged to look at interpretation strategies within their museums, as well as practical issues such as writing text, choosing cases, displaying objects and arranging lighting, and dealing with contractors. Trainer: Brian Crowley, Curator of Kilmainham Gaol Museum (OPW)
  • Management and Governance: Presents types of governance structures within the museum sector, the roles of executive officers (including curators), forward planning and project management. Trainer: Eithne Verling, Director of Galway City Museum
  • Collecting and Collections: Examines the role of collections, why and how to collect and how to devise a collection policy. It also looks at the meaning and context of collections and the challenges of collecting intangible heritage. Trainer: Brenda Malone, Curator at National Museum of Ireland
  • Documentation: Introduces loan management and documentation systems, collection audits and writing facilities reports. Trainer: Judith Finlay, Registrar at National Museum of Ireland
  • External Relations: Enables participants to gain an understanding of the place of the museum within its various environments and a practical understanding of how best to communicate with their audiences. Trainer: Carla Marrinan, CEO of National Print Museum
  • Education and Access: Emphasises the centrality of learning as a function of museums. It gives an appreciation of the diversity of museum audiences and the different approaches required to connect effectively with each of them. Trainer: Catherine McGuinness, Museum Educator


Course dates: 09:30 - 13:00 on 21, 22, 28 & 29 March, 2023 (TBC).

Course Fee: 40 / £35 for IMA individual and institutional members, 100 / £85 for non-members

Registration: This course is now fully booked. Contact with subject line, Museum Basics EOI to be added to the mailing list for the next Museum Basics course.