Irish Museums Association (IMA) Museum Survey 2021

11 Aug 2021

The 2021 IMA museum survey is here!

The more responses we receive, the better we can advocate for our sector. Help us support you by completing this survey. 


The Irish Museums Association (IMA) has commissioned thrive to conduct this research on our behalf, to help us to better understand the museum sector and the challenges it currently faces. We will use this information to inform and seek better support for your organisations from the Irish government, Northern Ireland Executive and funders. 

A preliminary report from responses to date is to be published in October 2021 - to address the urgency of challenges faced by the sector. However, the survey remains open for a Second Stage analysis and final report to be delivered in late November 2021. If you haven't yet, please complete the survey now and inform us to ensure your museum is represented. 


Why is it so important that you respond?

The principal aim of this project is to collate and publish a comprehensive, up-to-date, and broad account of the Irish museums sector and its activities, so that we can inform on the 'state of play' of the sector and provide essential information to museums and stakeholders alike - we cannot stress how important it is that you respond! 

With the last survey of this type carried out in 2015, our existing data now six years out of date. Since then, we have experienced full recovery from a recession, significant investment in museums though the Decade of Commemorations, and a global pandemic... so there is a significant knowledge gap concerning the current state of Irish museums. 

It is intended that findings will provide an accurate picture of the museum sector in 2019 and 2020, provide longitudinal data for comparison, highlighting recent developments and challenges for the sector. It will additionally assist in efforts to prioritise actions, and allow individual institutions (particularly small to mid-sized local and community museums) to develop their own plans of advancement, contextualised against national data as we look towards post-pandemic recovery efforts . 


About the Survey

The survey seeks to collate self-reported museum data on general information (size, location, facilities, opening hours, etc.); programmes and activities; governing authority; staffing and training; budgets, funding and development activity; collections size and scope; access and education services; and visitor data (including tourist and local/national visitors). 

There is currently no public body with responsibility for collating and disseminating comprehensive information on the wider Irish museums sector. The IMA, therefore, sees this as an integral part of its remit, with surveys on the Irish Museums Sector published in 2015, 2005, 1994. Click here for the most recent report from 2015.  


What do we need you to do? 

Please complete the survey by either: 

  • Clicking on the link below and completing it online via SurveyMonkey,



  • Contact Victoria at for an in-person chat.

If you don’t think you’re the right person to fill in this survey for your organisation, please let them know who they should contact or forward the survey to the relevant person within your museum. 

To complete the survey online

By clicking on the 'Read more' link, you will be directing you to the SurveyMonkey website, where you can complete the survey online. Responses will, of course, be treated as confidential and any identifying information will be anonymised in the report and not be shared with third parties. 

Thank you in advance for taking the time to inform us.