Collecting the Troubles and Beyond
Collecting the Troubles and Beyond is a new initiative being taken forward by National Museums Northern Ireland and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The aim of the project is to widen the scope of the collection through greater academic and community engagement and to ensure that the collection can be used to support a full and inclusive narrative.
As well as material relating directly to political developments and conflict, collecting activity is being focussed on wider social, cultural and economic themes thereby enabling more nuanced and inclusive engagement with this complex period of history. We are working with community groups and representatives to establish the significance of events and objects through workshops and dialogue resulting in an important element of co-production within the project.
This case study will illustrate that despite the inherent challenges in interpreting contested history, the museum can play an important role in building understanding and in helping to address the legacy of the past. It can offer a shared and neutral space in which to explore controversial issues through critical narrative and interpretation which presents multiple perspectives and offers the opportunity for dialogue and debate.
Karen Logan is the Project Curator of the Collecting the Troubles and Beyond project based in National Museums Northern Ireland.
karen.logan [at] nmni.com
Image: Karen Logan