Documentation Discoveries

documentation teams working on the collections
Find out about rare objects, exciting collections and unusual specimens discovered in the course of the museum’s Five Year Inventory Project. 
Treaty Statement
The Signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, 1921

Arthur Griffith’s statement told the world that the war between Ireland and Britain was at an end.

Fig 2_Ray Collection handwritten labels
Thomas Matthew Ray (1801 – 1881) – his collection and archive

T. M. Ray (1801 – 1881) was active in the 19th century Irish nationalist movement and also left his mark on the collections of the National Museum.

Deep water starfish
A Norwegian Deep Water Starfish

In the course of the Inventory Project a starfish from a Norwegian fjord was catalogued.

Sheridan bell
Bell from Sheridan’s Foundry, Dublin

A nineteenth century foundry cast bell from Sheridan’s Foundry, Dublin.

Sienese dragon-side of face
Here be dragons! - A Sienese dragon at the National Museum of Ireland

A late Renaissance wrought iron Sienese dragon in the National Museum of Ireland.

Japanese wood-block print: The Suspension Bridge on the border of Hida and Etchu Provinces by Hokusai
A delicate and beautiful Japanese wood-block print by Hokusai

This Japanese wood-block print by Katsushika Hokusai entitled: The Suspension Bridge on the border of Hida and Etchu Provinces (NMIDB:1933.84) is one of eleven prints from the landscape series Views of Famous Bridges in Various Providences (1827 – 1830).

The study skin of a rare Persian lioness from the early 1900 given to the zoo by King Edward VII
A Persian Lioness

King Edward VII gave this animal to Dublin Zoo. This subspecies of lion is now on the brink of extinction.

Pair of season tickets for Cork International Exhibition 1902
Pair of season tickets for The Cork International Exhibition 1902

The inventory team documented a pair of season tickets to The Cork International Exhibition which was held in 1902, attracting exhibits from all over the world and almost 2 million visitors.

Fig 1 Bii ware sherds from Ballygarran
Late Roman amphora sherds in Co. Waterford.

Unexpected discovery of Late Roman amphora sherds amongst the excavated material in the crypt of the National Museum.

Fig.2 Alabastra P1310.1 and P1310.2
A pair of Egyptian jars from a ringfort at Lucan, Co. Dublin

Could two c. 2,500-year-old Egyptian alabastra have been found in an Iron Age ringfort?

Skull of a saltwater crocodile from the Solomon Islands The marker pen used for scale measures approximately 14 cm long
A Saltwater Crocodile

A great meat-eater’s skull from the distant East Indies…

Front of nineteenth century banner
Trade Union Banners of the Regular Operative Slaters of Dublin

The history of the Regular Operative Slaters of Dublin and its ornate banners

Gun money
‘Gunmoney’ Half-Crown

This James II ‘Gunmoney’ half-crown represents an emergency coinage made from base metal in 17th century Ireland.

Pelican tool
Iron dental tool

This tool was used in the past to extract teeth in the late medieval period.

Cannibal's Fork_detail_AE.1923.322
Cannibal’s fork/iculanibokola

This object was brought back from Fiji by Arthur Mahaffy and was catalogued in the course of documenting the Museum’s Ethnographical collections in 2004.

Sergeant Roper and Ed McEvoy
A Secret Photograph from Rath Internment Camp, War of Independence

A collection of photographs show the life of Irish prisoners in an internment camp in 1921.

Partial skull of Spotted Hyena and catalogue of the excavation at Castlepook
Spotted Hyena Skull

A skull was excavated in Castlepook Cave, near Doneraile, Co. Cork, the only place in Ireland where remains of spotted hyena have been found to this day.

View of the four boards forming the seat and of the front legs with T-shaped stretcher
A Three-legged ‘Tuam chair’

An interesting example of a three-legged Irish chair (the ‘Tuam chair’), common in Connaught over 100 years ago, was catalogued in the Irish Folklife Division.

A physically anomalous example of a loggerhead turtle found on Donegal Bay
An Unusual Loggerhead Turtle

A loggerhead turtle (one of the largest hard-shelled turtle species in the world) specimen discovered in Donegal in the 19th century.

Birch Rod
Birch Rod

A 19th century birch rod used in prisons to discipline male prisoners has been documented in the Irish Folklife collections.

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