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Object Number Deciphered

Explanations of the cataloguing numbers from the different collections in the National Museum of Ireland

The object numbers appear in this catalogue in the format - AA: YYYY.NNN

AA meaning a variety of 2 letters describing the prefix used to denote which collection the object belongs to, these prefixes are explained below.

YYYY: Year of Acquisition (4 digits)

NNN: Sequential Number of Acquisition

AA: The prefixes:

Art and Industrial Division

The Historical collections prefixes are as follows -

Code Description
HA Historical Arms and Armour Collection
HC Historical Coins and Medals Collection
HH General Historical Collection
HE Easter Week Collection

The Decorative Arts collections prefixes are as follows -

Code Description
DM Decorative Metalwork and Scientific Instruments Collection
DC Decorative Ceramics and Glass Collection
DT Decorative Textiles Collection
DF Decorative Furniture and Musical Instruments Collection
DA Fine and Graphic Art Collection
DB Bender Collection (a collection of Asian art collected by Albert Bender and donated to the National Museum of Ireland)
Other collections -
Code Description
AE Ethnographical Collection (partly curated by Art and Industry)
F Irish Folklife Collections
IA Irish Antiquities Collections
NH Natural (History) Collections

Natural History Collections - Earth Science

AE Ethnographical Collection (due to the nature of this collection it is mainly part of the Irish Antiquities collections, but some objects do fall under the care of the Art and Industry or Natural History Division)


DC:1900.191 is the 191st object within the glass and ceramics collection to be acquired in 1900 either by purchase or donation

Exceptions (Originating from previous registration systems)

Code Description
NG An additional letter in the sequential number indicates the series:F-FossilsR-Rocks (including Meteorites)G-Irish MineralsM-Foreign Minerals

Prefix letters not following the current naming convention in IA relate mostly to the intitution that first registered the object:

A. to G. Royal Irish Academy's Museum - Early register

E E followed by a unique Excavation Reference Number. Objects from Excavations

P. George Petrie Collection

R Royal Irish Academy's Museum - 1859-1872

S.A. Science and Art Museum - 1898-1928

R.S.A.I. Collection of the Royal Society of Antiquaries Collection

W. Objects catalogued by Sir William Wilde

Wk. Objects catalogued by William Wakeman bear the prefix

Large private collections are normally assigned a special collections prefix.