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National Library and National Museum to mark 140th anniversary with a joint programme of family-friendly activities
Press Releases | 2nd August 2017


Tuesday, 1st August 2017

National Library and National Museum to mark 140th anniversary with a joint programme of family-friendly activities

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) and National Museum of Ireland (NMI) have today (01.08.17) announced that they will host a joint programme of family-friendly activities on Saturday, 12th August to mark the 140th anniversary of their founding legislation.

Both institutions were established under the 1877 Dublin Science and Art Museum Act. To celebrate 140 years of collecting and preserving, interpreting and displaying the national collections, the NLI and the NMI will host the following special events:

  • The NLI is hosting its 140th birthday party celebration from 2pm to 5pm at the Library’s main building on Kildare Street. Family-focused and free of charge, there will be live gospel music, arts and crafts activities, pop-up displays and visits to the NLI’s iconic reading room and award-winning Yeats exhibition. Illustrator and Laureate na nÓg, PJ Lynch will join Director of the NLI, Dr Sandra Collins to cut a special birthday cake.
  • The NMI is celebrating its 140th anniversary with a free, family-friendly open day from 10am to 4pm at the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology on Kildare Street. The celebration will include a number of themed art workshops and a pop-up photographic exhibition. The programme includes a spectacular display of black and white photographs of the Museum in the late 1800s; hunting for your favourite Museum artefact and art activities that inspire and give insight into bog bodies and the iconic Ardagh Chalice! Free 1877-inscribed cupcakes will be given out to mark the day!

Speaking about the Library’s birthday event, Head of Outreach at the National Library of Ireland, Katherine McSharry, said: “We’re really looking forward to celebrating the rich and wonderful history of the National Library with our visitors. Over the last 140 years, the Library has held a special place in the fabric of Irish life and, as we are embarking on a major redevelopment of our main building, this is a celebration both of our past and our future. We’re delighted to join with our Kildare Street neighbours, the National Museum, to welcome everyone to celebrate with us.”

Director of the National Museum of Ireland, Raghnall Ó Floinn, said: “For the past 140 years, promoting Ireland’s distinctive culture and history and its place in the world has been at the heart of our work. We aim to put people at the centre of all we do and would like to celebrate our birthday with an open day for people of all ages. We encourage everybody to stop by both the Museum and the Library on 12th August to enjoy our programme of events and help us celebrate 140 years of memories.”

Further information about the NLI birthday event is available at: www.nli.ie. Further information about the NMI anniversary event is available at:



 Contact: Louise Archbold, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-2601145

 Note to Editors

  • Katherine McSharry, Head of Outreach at the National Library of Ireland is available for interview on request.
  • For comment on the Museum’s programme of events, Siobhán Pierce, Education & Outreach Officer, National Museum of Ireland is available at spierce@museum.ie

About the Library: The mission of the National Library of Ireland (NLI) is to collect, preserve, promote and make accessible the documentary and intellectual record of the life of Ireland and to contribute to the provision of access to the larger universe of recorded knowledge.  It is open, free of charge, to all those who wish to consult the collections. The Office of the Chief Herald in Kildare Street and the National Photographic Archive in Temple Bar are both part of the National Library.  Further information is available at www.nli.ie. Follow the NLI on Twitter @NLIreland, Facebook National Library of Ireland, Flickr on the Commons  and Vimeo.

About the Museum:  The National Museum of Ireland holds its collections in trust for the nation with a unique responsibility for the rich material culture of Ireland and its peoples and the natural history of our island.   Our mission is to care for, manage and interpret the collections we hold in trust and make them accessible to everyone for inspiration, learning and enjoyment.   We have 4 sites:

  • National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, Kildare St., Dublin 2.
  • National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Benburb St., Dublin 7.
  • National Museum of Ireland – Natural History, Merrion St., Dublin 2.
  • National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.