Opening Up the Library’s Print Collection

From left to right: Ms Elaine Hill, Development Officer (Museums and Collections) for the Northern Ireland Museums Council; Ms Georgina Nayler, Director of the Pilgrim Trust; The Very Revd Gregory Dunstan, Keeper of Armagh Public Library; Ms Thirza Mulder, Archivist for Armagh Public Library. Image credit: Ian Maginess

Armagh Public Library has recently gained funding of £23,000 from the Pilgrim Trust and the Northern Ireland Museums Council to carry out work to its print collection. Representatives from both funders were welcomed to the Library at the start of this two-year project which will involve the expertise of the Library’s Archivist, Ms Thirza Mulder.

The project will enable Thirza to audit, surface clean, photograph and re-pack almost 2,000 prints in museum-quality storage. Following completion of this work, the print collection will be protected and preserved, making it accessible to visitors. It will also allow Library staff to select material for exhibitions and group visits, thereby opening up the collection and enhancing the experience of visitors.

The Very Revd Gregory Dunstan, Keeper of Armagh Public Library, said: “The Library’s print collection contains work from national and international artists, from the 15th to 19th centuries, and is of international importance. The collection belonged to our founder, Archbishop Richard Robinson, who gave it to the Library. Support from the Landfill Communities Fund had already enabled us to treat about a third of the collection. Thanks to the Pilgrim Trust and the Northern Ireland Museums Council, we can now finish the work. One of its most exciting aspects is the identification of prints which may never have been catalogued or even studied in the two centuries since the collection was brought together. We look forward to the discoveries of the next two years.”