What We Collect

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Mission Statement of Galway City Museum

‘To be a centre of learning, inspiration, engagement & enrichment for all our visitors by collecting, preserving & displaying the material heritage of Galway’

The Collections at Galway City Museum

Galway City Museum is a designated repository for objects of cultural heritage related to the city of Galway and its people. We collect so as to preserve the material heritage of Galway for future generations. The collection comprises thousands of objects, most of which have been kindly donated by the people of Galway over the past 40 years.

We collect in accordance with our Collections Policy, which stipulates that we acquire objects associated with the history and heritage of Galway City and its people. This includes objects manufactured, used, owned or found by people in Galway City.  Our Collections Policy is available on request.

In 2010 Galway City Museum received designated status under the National Cultural Institutions Act, 1997, meaning that we are now legally entitled to retain archaeological objects for and on behalf of the State. All archaeological objects found with no known owner are State property and must be reported to either the National Museum of Ireland or to a designated museum. As a designated museum we are also available to provide advice on any queries related to archaeological heritage.

To donate an object you should contact the Collections Officer at the Museum.  Staff may not always be available at short notice but we can take your details and the Collections Officer will contact you.  Alternatively, you can drop the Collections Officer an email with an image of the object.

If you deposit an object with the Museum, you must complete an Entry Form as a receipt to ensure we have your details and gather some of the history of the object.

All potential donations are assessed by the Museum for suitability for inclusion into the Collections.  It might be exactly what we are looking for if it fits in with our Collections Policy, is in good condition and has a full history.  In this case it will be accepted into our permanent collections.

It might be that it would be useful for working with school groups.  In this case it would form part of a ‘handling collection’.

Please bear in mind that the Museum may not be able to accept your offer for many reasons, such as the cost of maintaining and storing an object or if the Museum already has a similar object in the Collections.  Please do not be offended if we cannot accept your offer.

Galway City Museum can never guarantee that any particular object will be put on display.  Those objects not on display comprise our reserve collection and are kept in our stores.  A museum is actually a bit like an iceberg, where you only ever see part of it.  Objects in the reserve collection may however be used in future exhibitions.

All museum work originates from the collections. This includes exhibitions, education/outreach programmes and publications. We have staff dedicated to the documentation of the collections, so that we can provide information about objects to other museum staff, researchers and the general public.

We are always developing and expanding our collections at Galway City Museum and are interested to hear about any objects you may have.

For further information on the Collections, or if you have an object you would like to donate, please contact the Collections Officer at Galway City Museum.

Helen Bermingham
Collections Officer
Galway City Museum, Spanish Parade, Galway
H91 CX5P
t: +353 (0)91 532460
e: helen.bermingham@galwaycity.ie

For Galway Interational Arts Festival, Galway City Museum will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am - 5pm, both Sunday's 12pm - 5pm and Monday 18 July, 10am - 5pm.  Admission is FREE!
Galleries close at 4.45pm

N.B. After the festival the museum will resume normal opening times:
OPEN Tuesday through Saturday, 10am - 5pm, CLOSED Sunday and Monday.
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