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National accreditation for Zoological Museum

National accreditation for Zoological Museum

18th July 2019

Trinity’s Zoological Museum – a constantly popular educational attraction for tourists, researchers and students alike – has maintained Full Accreditation status under the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI).

The Zoological Museum was one of ten recipients to receive an award at a ceremony in Kilkenny Castle earlier this month.

The award is apt recognition of the important ongoing work that is being done in the sector to protect collections, enhance services and to provide excellent levels of customer service to their visitors. Pictured above are the 10 MSPI award-winners.

Curator of the Zoological Museum, Dr Martyn Linnie, said:

I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of the Zoological Museum. With global diversity in rapid decline, natural history museums are becoming more and more relevant to today’s society and the Zoological Museum strives to raise awareness of such issues through our outreach and civic engagement programmes.

The award reflects our ongoing commitment to increasing public access and education, while maintaining a high standard of care and governance of this historic collection.

Speaking at the Heritage Council’s Museum Standards Programme for Ireland awards ceremony, Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform, John Paul Phelan, spoke about the significance of the cultural sector in Ireland.

He said: “High standards of care for our heritage and investment in high quality design will ensure we pass on a proud legacy for future generations.”

Established by the Heritage Council in 2006 to benchmark and promote professional standards in the care of collections, the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI) has attracted involvement across the cultural spectrum, from national institutions to small, volunteer-led organisations. A testament to the continued dedication and professionalism, the Zoological Museum is one of 65 museums and galleries to benefit from participation in the MSPI to date. While recognising the achievement of standards through accreditation, the MSPI also supports the museum community as a whole. Its participants engage in a range of processes, which help to secure Ireland’s collections for future generations and to engage its visitors with what those collections have to offer.

During the audit of the Zoological Museum, the external assessor commented that its last assessment in 2014 identified strengths related to research and collections care. The Museum continues its role as a teaching and research collection, while using the three summer months to push forward on developing the Museum’s public profile.

The revenue raised has contributed significantly to improvements in the museum and its infrastructure while enabling the employment of students to provide public access to the collections and exhibits.

An external assessor said: “It is remarkable that all this work is carried out by a single member of staff, acting as Honorary Curator. His tireless work with the museum collection, its care and access, is evident throughout the museum.”

The Zoological Museum is open daily to visitors every day until August 31.


'Science for the love of it'

'Science for the love of it' is a documentary /podcast featuring Martyn Linnie's experiences of his time in Zoology ,Trinity and particularly the museum. Please listen to the attached link here.


Curator recognised for 'Outstanding engagement with Society'

The Curator of the Zoological Museum, Dr Martyn Linnie was shortlisted for the 'Registrar's Civic Engagement Award 2018' for his outstanding engagement with society. In what was an incredibly competitive and difficult task for the selection panel, the college registrar, Prof. Paula Murphy stated the following: Over 20 nominations were received from across the three Faculties, showing the enormous breadth of civic engagement activities and the variety of ways the College works with society. The work of the selection panel was made difficult by both the quality and variety of the projects, which were so very difficult to compare. The nomination of your work on the Zoological Museum and the case that you presented were so enormously impressive on all fronts. The panel were impressed with how you have transformed the Museum; not only the high standards and professionalism involved in securing accreditation but also training students as mediators and providing a special learning space for the public.


Zoological Museum receives grant from the Heritage Council of Ireland (2018)

Following on from previous successful awards we are very pleased to announce that the Heritage Council of Ireland has awarded a grant to the Zoological Museum to carry out conservation/remedial work on the world famous collection of glass models made by Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka in the late 1800s. The Museum has nearly 60 of these beautifully crafted glass models some of which are in need of modest repair and conservation. The work will be carried out by the experienced glass model conservator, Lorna Barnes and will be available for public viewing in 2019.


The Ryan Tubridy Show - RTÉ Radio1

Listen here , from 50 mins on, to Dr. Martyn Linnie discussing the Zoology Museum and what is has to offer guests this summer.


Zoological Museum launches new ‘Science for Schools’ programme.

Following on from the success of our interactive guided tours, we are delighted to announce the launch of our ‘Science for Schools’ programme.  The initiative aimed at children of all ages will focus on skeletons and skulls, how they differ, how bones grow, how teeth work and how some animals have very different types of skeletons. Using original material from our museum collection of over 25,000 objects, students will also learn about food chains and how they affect prey/predator relationships.

Book your school’s visit now.

Tel: (01) 8961366
E-mail:  zoology.museum@tcd.ie
Group Bookings for June now available
Rates: Entry 5 Euro per person. Group rates available. No charge for designated group leaders


Zoological Museum Wins Heritage Award

flying fox image

Trinity College Dublin’s Zoological Museum has been awarded full accreditation by the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland. The museum is the first of its type to receive this prestigious Heritage Council award, which was presented by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphries TD.

The award represents five years of commitment to improving the care and governance of the Museum’s iconic 200-year-old collection, which includes approximately 25,000 specimens from Ireland and abroad.

The Museum Standards Programme, with participants from a wide range of Irish collecting institutions, sets out to raise standards of care across the cultural spectrum, from national institutions to small, volunteer-led organisations.

The Heritage Council review committee acknowledged that the “…particular strengths of the Museum include a strong ethos for research and for collections care and management, combined with a firm commitment to public engagement. The Museum successfully promotes wider understanding of the significance of the collection and its role in interpreting global conservation issues.”

Zoological Museum Curator, Dr Martyn Linnie, said: “Achieving this standard underpins the great progress we have made in recent years in raising the profile and long-term governance of the collection. It reflects our continued commitment to protect and develop our cultural heritage for students, researchers and the general public. We look forward to welcoming many more visitors.”

Professor of Zoology in Trinity's School of Natural Sciences, Yvonne Buckley, added: “The Museum holds key roles in the School of Natural Sciences for engagement and outreach – as we had over 6,000 visitors in 2014 – and in our teaching programmes. This accreditation and the associated development of policies and standards puts the Museum on a secure and firm footing to continue to operate, expand and diversify its roles in the future.”

“The accreditation comes at a time when we will be extending the opening hours this summer to include weekends, with important opportunities given to current and former students to gain valuable experience running guided tours. We know that these roles have significantly benefitted our students and alumni in their careers and further education plans.”

See also: Irish Times, Wednesday July 8


Museum awarded Interim Accreditation

flying fox image

The Zoological Museum is delighted to announce that it has been awarded interim accreditation from the Heritage Council under their Museum Standards Programme for Ireland scheme.  The Heritage Council’s main commitment to collections care comes through its support of the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI). This important initiative, with participants from a wide range of Irish collecting institutions, sets out to raise standards of care across Irish museums and galleries. A voluntary programme, it has attracted involvement from across the cultural spectrum - from national institutions to small, volunteer-led organisations.  The Zoological Museum is the first natural history Museum to receive the award in Ireland.


Zoological Museum receives grant from the Trinity Foundation and Trust

atlas moth image

We are very pleased to announce that the Trinity Trust and Foundation has awarded a grant of 6,000 Euro to the Zoological Museum. The grant will be used to carry out conservation/remedial work on the Murray collection of Irish Lepidoptera.  It will also be used to finance a ‘museum standard’ permanent exhibition case for the entrance hallway. The Murray collection consists of 28 drawers of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) in two cabinets. There are over 4000 specimens in the collection and it ranks as one of the few really comprehensive collections of the period. Murray’s records are quoted in such standard entomological works as Beirne (1941) and Baynes (1964). The collection was donated to Trinity College in 1955 after the death of Dr Murray.

A recent review of the collection showed 336 records for the Waterford county alone. The collection has been heavily drawn upon for national records going back to the Baynes revised catalogue of Irish Macrolepidoptera of 1964.