Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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The Effects Of The Famine In Dungarvan & West Waterford

Willliam Whelan will deliver a talk-The effects of the famine in Dungarvan & West Waterford- on Saturday 23 October in the museum at 2.30 pm, in conjunction with the Return to the Déise festival, which  runs from Fri 22- Mon 25 Oct.

As part of the Famine Commemoration event in 1995, the museum published a detailed book entitled Desperate Haven-The Poor Law Famine & Aftermath in Dungarvan Union. 

William Whelan contributed a chapter on Food & Diet in the workhouse.  The book is an important resource for local famine studies and is now available on the museum's website, http://www.waterfordcountymuseum.org/
 Admission to the talk is free and all are welcome.

Successful Historic Houses & Gardens Seminar

The seminar took place on Thursday 22 October in the magnificent surroundings of Lismore Castle. The Pugin room was packed to capacity with an enthusiastic audience.

The first speaker on the programme was museum curator William Fraher who spoke on the Country Houses of West Waterford.

Other speakers included Lord Waterford who spoke about his home, Curraghmore, Willie Cuming spoke on the buildings and landscapes of Ireland survey. Colm Murray from the Heritage Council and Louise Harrington gave a though provoking presentation on the lack of research on those who worked on the large estates as servants, gardeners and tenants. Their history has often been ignored in studies of the big house in Ireland.

Kristen Jameson spoke about the new Co. Waterford Trail which is to be launched next year.

Well done to Bernadette Guest, County Heritage Officer and Rose Ryal, Conservation Officer, Waterford Co. Council for an excellent seminar.

Successful Talk On Lismore Castle

On Wednesday 13 October we had the first of our talks in the present lecture series. Starting off the series we had Julian Walton, historian and broadcaster who gave a talk entitled - Lismore Castle & Cathedral, A Personal View.

Julian delivered a fascinating and entertaining talk which covered the castle and the bishops of Lismore from the earliest times up until the end of the 19th century.

This talk was very well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd.

Children's Halloween Fun At The Museum

On Saturday 23 October the museum will hold a Halloween Fun Day. The event will happen between 11.30 am -1.pm. and entry is free.   Children are invited along to hear local ghost stories, make Halloween crafts and do creepy crosswords.

The day has been organised by Helen Moynihan educational co-ordinator, and with the help of Tony Hayes (staff member) and Darren Moynihan it should be a fun packed event.

The Schools Are Back

An Múinteoir Jen Uí Dhuibhir agus na páisti as ranga ceithre Scoil Garbháin.

In recent weeks we were delighted to have a visit from ranga 4 with their teacher Jen Uí Dhuibhir  from the local gael scoil, Scoil Garbháin.  These children were very interested in local history and  knew quiet a lot. They listened attentively as they were brought around the museum and asked questions along the way.

 The second school to visit was 4th class from Scoil Mhuire along with their teacher Mary Harney and Principal Finbar Keohan. The children showed a special interest in our display on the Moresby as they were studying it in class.  They also spent some time studying the many photographs of Edmond Keohan, who was grandfather to their Principal Finbar.

We openly invite all the schools in the county to vist the Museum, they can partake in a guided tour by the museum staff or come and browse at their own leisure.

The handling objects are always a big hit with the children, they love trying on the helmets or handling the sword and gun. The colouring pictures are also a big hit with the young and not so young.  In the months ahead it would be great to see  many more schools from  around the county  come and visit and  see what the museum has to offer.

Improving The Visitor Experience At Our Museum

The deadline for the Heritage Council grant application passed last Friday and this year we are applying for something a little bit innovative. The cost of the project is only 870 Euro, if we get the go ahead visitors to the museum will have something special to look forward to next year.

Project Overview
This project has several strands but essentially in a technical sense it is very simple. We are going to create a wireless network across our museum that will allow access to certain websites. At the moment we envisage the websites that we will allow access to will include: www.waterfordmuseum.ie (currently coming to the end of a 3 year long reconstruction), YouTube and Wikipedia

Use By Visitors To The Museum
This wireless network can be accessed by any visitor to the museum with a smart phone (23 percent market share of the mobile phone market by 2013. Source: Juniper Research, Hampshire, Britain), laptop or net book. When we create a new exhibition we will now create an exhibition page on our website. This page will contain links to additional information associated with the exhibition. At the entrance to the exhibition you will be given a web address that you can put into your mobile phone or computer to access further information.

We can for instance:
  • Link to additional photos that we do not have space for in an exhibition. Eg We are doing an exhibition on 'Country Houses' we will probably have only space for 1 or 2 photos of 'Comeragh House'. By clicking on http://bit.ly/b3nWfI you can view an additional 20 or so images. We currently have close on 5000 images on-line so for most exhibitions we will have surplus images that are not on display for one reason or another.
  • Link to biographies of people or additional information on our museum web site. Again we don't have room to put up all of the information we have gathered on a subject but we do have a facility to publish 100's of pages on-line on our web site. Now visitors that want to explore a subject further will be able to look up additional information.
  • Look up additional information on artefacts. We have 4000 odd artefacts catalogued at present. We have another 1000 artefacts to catalogue before the catalogue is brought up to date. This catalogue is going to be plugged into our new web site. A visitor to the museum or the website will be able to search through all of the artefacts we have in store relating to let's say 'Power's Brewery'. They can get further information on the artefact in front of them in the case or discover related articles that we may not have included in the museum.
  • Display educational or historically interesting videos. Certain videos are available on-line and it would be useful if they could be viewed in the context of an exhibition. eg Pathe News: Noone Can Insult Our Flag

Use By Museum Staff With Visiting Groups (Particularly School Groups)
It will also be used by museum staff to access the Internet when giving talks to groups of children visiting the museum. We have put considerable effort in recent years to encourage schools across Waterford to visit the museum. We have had a lot of success in this and now we are a regular destination for the majority of National Schools in West Waterford. Our staff give talks on the replica arms and armour we have in the museum. By having a simple tablet computer in their hands they could have a portable TV screen that could: 
These are just some examples of the videos we could show visiting groups. All videos would be vetted prior to their being shown.

Assist Visitor Comprehension
Lastly we would hope that the network could be used to access Wikipedia so that visitors could source definitions of terms that may appear in exhibitions. e.g. Fenian. I appreciate that Wikipedia is imperfect but nonetheless it is a useful resource to explain terms to visitors that may not be au fait with Irish history or certain scientific terms.

About The Museum
For an overview of the work of our museum please see our corporate video.

Official Launch of The Newfoundland Emigrant Trail Booklet

Newfoundland Emigrant Trail Booklet 

The launch took place here in the museum on Saturday 18 September of a new booklet entitled The Newfoundland Emigrant Trail. The book was launched by historian and broadcaster Julian Walton.

The booklet which tells the story of emigration from the South East Coast of Ireland to Newfoundland during the 18th and 19th centuries. The launch was part of a series of events to mark the Newfoundland Festival which took place from 18 to 26 September.

A group of over 50 from Newfoundland were visiting Dungarvan, Lismore, Carrick, Wexford and Kilkenny.

The museum is delighted to be associated with the production of the booklet which was edited and prepared by Paula Ui Uallcháin. Also speaking at the launch were Nioclás Ó Griobhtháin, Museum President, Paddy O Callaghan, Mayor of Waterford. Mary Roche, Mayor of Waterford City, and other distinguished quests. The booklet contains a series of fascinating articles by Dr.John Mannion, Julian Walton, Michael Coady, Eamon Ó Murchú, Ray McGrath, Eamon McEneaney and Senan Cooke.

The booklet is available to buy here at the museum, cost €5.

City Mayor Mary Roche, County Mayor Paddy O'Callaghan, with Julian Walton at the launch.

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