The Museum of Childhood Ireland is an initiative designed to deliver a world-class facility exploring and engaging all themes of childhood on our island. The Museum will have as its principal objective the collecting, curating and exhibiting of historical and social historical artefacts and history. The primary aim is to create meaningful, insightful, interesting, lasting experiences for children and adults and to place the voice of the child where it belongs, from earliest times to the present day, front and centre in Ireland.
Internationally, the general concept of a Museum of Childhood is not new; excellent examples exist across America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. The focus tends to be on toys. Children’s Museums, which also exist internationally tend to focus on indoor play and learning. What sets the Museum of Childhood Ireland apart, what makes this museum offering unique, is our innovative re-imagining of the concept, to tell the the stories of childhood in the whole, the nuanced historical and social historical aspects of childhood. The story of who owned the object. The when, where, why, who and what! And then the interactivity, education, discussions leading from that. Our programming will enable everyone to explore, play, learn from, and enjoy both the man-made and natural aspects of the world we enjoyed as children and that children enjoy now. Our extensive collection includes Irish cultural/historical artefacts, toys, childhood equipment, medical and educational related objects and costumes. We continue to gather the stories and experiences of children from their own, and other eras and environments. Permanent artefacts and displays will be supported by a programme of temporary exhibitions linked to events and interactive learning opportunities. Children and adults will be able to engage fully with these, and make full use of the museum as an informal resource which inspires a journey of sharing and examining history, play, culture, rights, heritage, activism… a journey of lifelong learning together. What happens beyond the walls of the physical building, in the museum garden, in the physical, geographical location environment, on the island of Ireland and from there the wider world beyond is important to us. Where
Specifically, the Museum will:
- Tell the story of the day-to-day lives of children growing up in Ireland through permanent and temporary collections of artefacts related to childhood in Ireland and the wider world
- Focus on accessibility for all
- Encourage intergenerational story telling and memory sharing
- Facilitate dialogue and understanding across all geographical areas of our island
- Promote the positivity of our diversity
- Stimulate and nourish the imaginations of children and adults by appealing to their sense of inquisitiveness
- Foster innovation and creativity for all
- Provide family learning experiences through interactive and interdisciplinary engagement
- Offer research opportunities and an extensive outreach programme
- Contribute to local, regional, and national, cultural and the tourism economy in a significant and distinctive way.