The "Museums of Mayo" network was established in 1997 following an Irish Museums Association training programme hosted by Knock Folk Museum. The network consists of people working in and or associated with 15 institutions throughout the County which are involved in collecting, preserving, researching and exhibiting aspects of our rich cultural heritage.
These institutions include museums, heritage centres, abbeys, interpretative centres and other heritage-related projects in the county.
- To promote higher standards of museum practice and to promote specialist training to achieve this
- To support and promote one another
- To provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas among members
- To pool resources
- To raise the profile of heritage related institutions within the county
A further training programme, extending over 9 weeks in 1999, entitled 'CARING FOR MUSEUM COLLECTIONS,' provided detailed specialist advice in areas such as environmental considerations, surveying collections, preventative conservation, appropriate storage and works of art on paper, (books, maps & archival material). This course was funded by LEADER.
This course dealt with environmental considerations, how to survey your collections, preventative conservation measures, appropriate storage, and works of art on paper (books, maps & archival material).
Meetings are organized on a regular basis over the winter months, utilizing the premises of member centres.
Every year, in April, member centres exchange brochures and brief one another on projected exhibitions, programmes, etc..
To date we have received funding from the Heritage Council, Leader, Mayo Millennium Committee and FÁS.
To commemorate the Millennium we organized a Mayo Museums' Jamboree, which was jointly funded by the Heritage Council and the Mayo Millennium. Free invitations to all our institutions, incorporating promotional information, were posted to all 40,000 households in the County over the June Bank Holiday weekend. The aim of this initiative was to raise the profile of Museums and we were very gratified at the interest and awareness it generated..
We have recently commenced a county-wide FAS project in association with Meitheal MaighEo. The emphasis of the project is on the provision of specialisit museum training in the County and the collection of Mayo folklore.
We are also liasing with Age Action West with a view to working jointly on Reminiscence Projects in County Mayo..
The network has enable us to access the highest professional advice and training that individually we would not have been able to afford. This has been instrumental in raising the standards of Museum practices, individually and overall.
The network has also enabled us to pool resources and benefit from one another's expertise and experience. This has created a support system which has benefited both individuals and institutions.
Through the network we keep up to date on museum developments throughout the country, such as the IMA Annual Spring Seminar. At least one member of the group attends and reports back to those of us not in a position to do so.