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Three National Museum of Ireland sites awarded full accreditation under the Heritage Councils Museum Standards Programme

The Heritage Council's Museum accreditation award ceremony in Kilkenny Castle.

The National Museum of Ireland was among 13 museums which were celebrated at a ceremony in Kilkenny Castle recently having achieved official accreditation under the Heritage Council’s Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI). Established to promote professional standards in museums, selection under the MSPI is a major accolade with accredited museums considered to have attained excellence across a range of areas.

Since its inception in 2006, the Irish museum sector has continued to embrace the programme with participation growing from 12 museum sites to 67 in 2022. Because no two museums are the same, the path to accreditation is different for all participants. Whereas museums with large collections may encounter challenges relating to storage and upkeep of large volumes of material, the volunteers in smaller museums may struggle to find the time or motivation to reach the MSPI standards.

The National Museum of Ireland is Ireland’s largest and oldest cultural institution with around 200 employees, over 1 million visitors annually and a vast collection of items spread out over five individual sites. Ensuring that its approach to safeguarding its collections met the standards as set out in the MSPI was a hugely complex operation, but one which they have fulfilled with aplomb.

“From our point of view, the MSPI has provided a great opportunity to adhere to the best housekeeping standards for museums in the world,” said Audrey Whitty, Head of Collections and Learning at the National Museum of Ireland. “Even though it was logistically challenging for us, the way the programme is structured into the specialist categories of care for collections and visitors, governance and management standards, and education and exhibition programmes, made it as simple as possible for us.”

The museums receiving accreditation at the recent ceremony were:

Full Accreditation

Allihies Copper Mine Museum, Beara Peninsula
Irish Agricultural Museum, The Irish Heritage Trust, Johnstown Estate, Co. Wexford
National Museum of Ireland: Country Life
National Museum of Ireland Decorative Arts & History
National Museum of Ireland Collections Resource Centre


Maintenance of Accreditation

Castletown, OPW
Clare Museum
County Museum, Dundalk
Heritage Centre: Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
Kerry Writers’ Museum
Pearse Museum, OPW


Interim Accreditation

Edward Worth Library
National Maritime Museum of Ireland, Dun Laoghaire

Read more about the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland



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