Crowds throng to the launch of Monaghan County Museum and Monaghan County Library Service Hidden Heritage Exhibition

Wednesday, April 13th saw the launch of Hidden Heritage in Monaghan County Museum. The event was packed with project participants and interested members of the community alike. On show was a tapestry of local history garnered from the work of the four community groups who investigated their local areas to find the hidden heritage that has up until now lay undiscovered.

Liam Bradley, Museum Curator, spoke of the ‘quality of the project that brought communities together through their shared interest in local heritage’ and how it had ‘opened up new audiences to the wide array of services available from both the museum and library’. Deirdriu McQuaid, Executive Librarian told the crowd about ‘the special relationship between the library and the museum which had created this project and how unusual that type of relationship was in a local authority context’ as well as acknowledging ‘the help and funding given to the project by Monaghan Peace III Partnership’.

David Fallon, County Manager noted ‘the commitment and professionalism of the library and museum staff in bringing this project to fruition in such a wonderful audio visual exhibition’. Mayor Jackie Crowe gave the very large attendance an overview of the project and how it has had a ‘very positive affect on the communities involved as well as being a success in building cross community relations’. Dr. Patrick Duffy of NUI, Maynooth launched the exhibition by speaking about how the exhibition reflected the ‘historical landscape of the county’.

This ground breaking project which is part financed by the European Union European Regional Development fund through the Peace III Programme and funded through Monaghan Peace III Partnership, has been working with 4 different community groups in County Monaghan.

The aim of this innovative initiative which has been run jointly through Monaghan County Library and Monaghan County Museum is to build better relations at a local level while highlighting the various services that the Museum and Library have to offer.

Over the last 2 years the Museum and Library staff have sourced funding and worked to set up four community groups covering a broad geographical spread of the county in Magheracloone, Tydavnet, Clones and Latton.

The groups have been researching projects in their local areas in conjunction with museum and library staff. The groups also received training in various areas such as archaeological excavation, genealogy, creative writing, digital photography, oral history collecting and exhibition design.

A summer camp was organised during July 2010 in each of the project areas, which was aimed at primary school children. Over 100 children took part in these summer camps which were focused on teaching the children about their local heritage in a fun and inclusive way.

What is unique about this project is that this is an exhibition about the hidden heritage of four areas of Monaghan that has been researched and developed by the people of those communities.

It is hoped that the Library and Museum will continue to work with these groups after the funding for this particular project runs out in May. Hidden Heritage has achieved all of its goals which were to bring communities closer together while promoting the wide range of services available from the Museum and Library to a wider audience.

The exhibition will run until December, look out for information on workshops, lectures and other events being run in conjunction with the display throughout the rest of the year.
Hidden Heritage Projects