The Old Library Wins Museum Standards Programme for Ireland Award

Posted on: 18 July 2012

The Old Library, Trinity College Dublin is one of three institutions that received full accreditation under the Museum Standards Programme this year and joins a select group of only 15 museums that have achieved full accreditation to date. The award was recently presented by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan at a ceremony in the Architectural Archive.

The Heritage Council’s Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI), the first of its kind in Ireland is an important initiative which sets out to improve all aspects of Ireland’s museum practice and in particular raise the standards of the caring of collections, museum management, education, exhibitions and visitor services.

The judges particularly praised the Old Library’s excellent care and preservation of its collections, noting that it continues to meet and exceed current best practice. The work involved in the Old Library receiving this accreditation is significant and has been ongoing for the past three years.

Anne-Marie Diffley, Visitor Services Manager, Old Library, Darina Kneafsey, Chief Operating Officer, TCD, Minister Jimmy Deenihan, Jessie Kurtz, Deputy Librarian and Susie Bioletti, Keeper, Conservation, Old Library at the MSPI award presentation

Speaking at the presentation, Minister Deenihan commented: “The Museum Standards Programme for Ireland recognises the high standards and level of professionalism which exists within the museum sector. Our cultural heritage is a key factor to attracting tourists and generating economic growth. The museums achieving the various stages of accreditation today are to be commended for their commitment, hard work and vision”.

“For half a million visitors annually, the Old Library and Book of Kells exhibition is seen as a flagship for the Library and for Trinity. It represents the values of the College as an institution of learning which treasures its history, shares its knowledge and advances scholarship. The Museum Standards Programme of Ireland Award has given the Library an opportunity to bring policies and practice to a recognised benchmark, which will advanced through the Old Library Capital Project enhancing our visitor facilities and the experience of scholars who work on our Research Collections,” stated the Librarian, Robin Adams.

The MSPI aims to benchmark and raise professional minimum standards in the museum sector. Within the programme, there are seven categories consisting of 34 standards, 25 of which are interim standards, and nine are full. The MSPI has attracted involvement from across the cultural spectrum of Ireland, from national institutions, to small volunteer-led organisations.