Setting myself the task of filling out the articles on Irish museums is proving quite addictive. When I look at the List of museums in the Republic of Ireland, it just makes me itch to fill in the many red links there. To give myself a little structure, and given that I had already done the Carlow County Museum, creating an article for all the County Museums seemed to make sense. From a gamers viewpoint, you are also completing a set if I get all those done, so that would have a nice rounded feel to it. Having no preference as to which County to go for first, I decided to be very imaginative, and just complete them alphabetically.
So that rock solid strategy gave me Cavan County Museum as my 14th article. Having been so used to the Carlow Museum, which has been around since the 1970s, I have been very surprised to see just how new some of the County Museums are. Cavan’s Museum was only created in 1996, which to someone who is so used to the National Museum of Ireland, which has roots going back to the late 1700s, for a museum to be less than 20 years old seems a little odd! But that is just my perspective, and thinking of museums as these very old institutions is arbitrary, all museums were new at some point. Another element that is interest is the projects that border museums are engaging in with Northern Ireland, of which Cavan is one.
I returned to Irish women in science, and local history, with the article on Evelyn Booth. This also brings out my interest in gardening, as Booth set out a garden that has been recently refurbished, called Lucy’s Wood. As it is a tourist destination, and a place of historical interest in it’s own right, I’m tempted to add this garden as a possible article. Booth wrote The Flora of County Carlow, so once again I’m representing the home county! I had hoped to write about a fellow botanist Edith Rawlins, who also worked in the Carlow/Wexford area, but it looks as if she is just a little to obscure to include at the moment.
Next up was County Museum Dundalk which is confusingly also called the Louth County Museum. Moving along through the County Museums, this was a fairly easy one, lots to be found online about it. The disappointment about Dundalk and Cavan is that there is no image to add to the article. I have learnt a lot about the local museums, and how many awards they have won, which is wonderful to see. Again the Dundalk Museum is quite modern, and it is heartening to see that museums are still seen as important enough to keep founding and funding.
The next article was lots of fun, although she is not Irish Doris Reynolds, she was a geologist who did some very important work on the geology of Northern Ireland. Apparently a very fiery character, Reynolds was involved in the “Granite Controversy” – a debate about the layers in the earth that might deserve its own article, but I worry my knowledge of the nuances of geology might be a bit too shaky! Again the biographies are more challenging, as at this point I have a formula for creating the museum articles, but the biographies take a bit more shaping and sculpting.
First thing I read about Monaghan County Museum was incorrect! Many websites claim it is the oldest County Museum, which given it was founded in 1974, I knew was incorrect. I then found that it is the first County Museum to be fully funded by a local authority, which is very different! Although it is a fascinating museum, which has won many awards. Adding these museums to the list and seeing more of those red links turn blue is definitely pushing me forward through these 100 days. I have had to stop myself on occasion from writing more than one article in a day. I do have a worry that I will run out of articles that are feasible to write before my 100 days are up.