Events | IMA Event

Museum Basics Course

13 September | 09:30 - 16 September | 09:30

Irish Museums Association

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The Irish Museums Association is inviting for expressions of interest to participate in our established Museum Basics course, aimed at enhancing skills of staff and volunteers, primarily working in community and volunteer-led museums or cultural heritage organisations.

Museum Basics is a foundation course that 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. All the Instructors are leading figures in their respective fields.

Devised by the Irish Museums Association (IMA), trainers are museum experts in their respective fields and working in the sector. It offers an introduction to the nature, context and operations of museums and the intention of the training is to provide practical examples and indicators of good practice and where and how further information can be found.

Museum Basics consists of eight online sessions. Sessions last approximately one hour and thirty minutes:


  • Introduction to Museums: Positions museums in their historical, social and cultural context. It provides participants with an understanding of the function of museums and how they are organised in Ireland.
  • 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.
  • Interpretation and Display: Covering both interpretation and display in museums, 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. Advice is also given on dealing with contractors.
  • Management and Governance: Presents types of governance structures within the museum sector, the roles of executive officers (including curators), forward planning and project management.
  • 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.
  • Documentation: Participants are given an understanding of the role of documentation in the museum and its importance. Topics covered include loan management and documentation systems, collection audits and writing facilities reports.
  • External Relations: Covering all aspects of external relations (communications and marketing), it 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.
  • Education and Outreach: 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.

This course is supported by funding from The Heritage Council of Ireland and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports & Media.

Course dates: 14 - 17 September, 2021. 09:30 - 13:00

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

Applications: Participation is limited to 25 people. Interested participants must submit expressions of interest to the IMA by 30 June 2021 via this form. If you prefer a copy of the form to be emailed to you for completion, contact with subject line, Museum Basics Application