A History of Ireland in 100 Objects

Unearthing the long history of Ireland, one object at a time

Objects have the power to tell us startling stories. They connect us directly with the people who made them and to the times in which they were used.

grid of object images

Our cultural institutions are places where these stories can be explored.

A History of Ireland in 100 Objects began in early 2011 as a series in The Irish Times with 100 objects chosen by journalist Fintan O’Toole with assistance from the National Museum of Ireland from whose collections the majority of the objects are drawn.

The chosen objects take us through the history of people in Ireland over 7,000 years, from a simple fish trap of the earliest inhabitants of the island to the first mass-produced microprocessor.

AK47

The public were invited to choose the 100th object from a shortlist of 10 and a decommissioned AK47 used in Ireland during the Troubles was chosen as the object to represent contemporary Ireland, reflecting the peace process as one of the most historic events of recent years.

Follow the trail...

You can discover many objects from the series at the National Museum of Ireland for yourself, at three different sites.

Decorative Arts & History

Download the leaflet:

100 Objects trail Collins Barracks 100 Objects trail Collins Barracks.pdf (1.32 MB, Adobe PDF) 

Make the most of your visit:

Archaeology

Download the leaflet:

100 Objects trail Kildare St 100 Objects trail Kildare St.pdf (1.36 MB, Adobe PDF) 

Make the most of your visit:

Country Life

This leaflet shows all objects in the series, including the ones at NMI Country Life:

100 Objects Trail Complete 100 Objects trail complete.pdf (8.99 MB, Adobe PDF)

Make the most of your visit:


Look for the symbol

100 objects trail logo

All of the objects in the galleries that are part of the trail are marked with the 100 symbol.

 

More ways to discover the stories

 
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