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The Little Museum of Dublin
Músaem Beag Bhaile Átha Cliath
Little Museum of Dublin.jpg
A four storey redbrick building
Established October 2011
Location 15 St Stephen's Green, Dublin, Ireland
Type Local history museum, urban museum
Founder Trevor White and Simon O’Connor
Public transit access St. Stephen's Green (Luas Green Line)

The Little Museum of Dublin is a people's museum of Dublin, situated at 15 St. Stephens Green, Dublin, Ireland. The museum is located in an 18th-century Georgian townhouse owned by Dublin City Council.

Collection

As a civic museum for the city of Dublin, the Little Museum chronicles the history of the city in the 20th century. It provides visitors with an intimate and informative glimpse into life in Dublin during that time period. The Little Museum, the “brainchild” of director Trevor White and curator Simon O’Connor, was formed in April 2011 and officially opened its doors to the public in October of the same year. A registered charity, the museum is governed by a board that includes representatives of Dublin City Council and Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism development authority.

The museum has a collection of over 5,000 artefacts that have been donated or loaned directly from the people of Dublin. It has three floors of exhibition space in the Georgian townhouse, one floor for office space, and an acclaimed Irish café, Hatch & Sons Irish Kitchen, in the basement. Areas of interest within the museum exhibitions include the 1916 Rising, U.S. President John F. Kennedy's visit to Dublin, and many other landmark events in Irish political and social history. In 2014 the museum opened an exhibit that focuses on the success of the rock band U2.

The museum also offers “I Love Dublin” classes for school children ages 6–17, and a tourist greeter program, City of a Thousand Welcomes. The program is a "civic initiative" that connects first-time visitors to Dublin with a local 'ambassador' who welcomes them by taking them out for a cup of tea or a pint. During the outing, the ambassadors tell their guests about the city and introduce them to Ireland's "outstanding hospitality." The program has been very successful so far; the Sydney Morning Herald describes it as “the best free thing to do in Europe”.

The museum received a new wave of publicity when it purchased an archive of work by artist and poet Christy Brown. As of 19 March 2014, the Little Museum and the National Library of Ireland were the proud joint owners of a collection that includes private letters and previously unseen sketches, paintings, and poems. The collection was sold by Bonhams in London for nearly 45,000 euro.

Patrons of the Little Museum include Dublin City Council, Dublin Regional Authority, Fáilte Ireland, the Merrion Hotel and Porterhouse Bars.

Awards and acclaim

In 2012, the Little Museum of Dublin was nominated for the European Museum of the Year Award.

In May 2013, the Irish Times described the Little Museum as “the best museum experience in Dublin”. In 2014, TripAdvisor awarded the Little Museum with a Certificate of Excellence for the third year in a row. They rank the Little Museum as the #10 attraction to see in Dublin, making it the second most popular museum in Dublin. In February 2014 the museum won the David Manley Award for Emerging Entrepreneurs in the Arts category.

Over 25,000 people visited the Little Museum in the first full year of operation. In 2013, the figure was 51,500, an increase of 114%.

City of a Thousand Welcomes

In June 2011, the Little Museum launched a civic initiative called "City of a Thousand Welcomes". The goal of the initiative was to show the "warmth of local Dubliners" to visitors to the city. The core concept of the initiative is to connect first-time visitors to Dublin with hospitable locals. There are 1,000 such local "ambassadors" taking part in the programme. Ambassadors come from "every walk of life" and include historians, teachers, writers and other ordinary residents of Dublin. An introduction (over a "pint or tea") may include information on where to go, where to listen to live music or to experience "underestimated" attractions in Dublin.

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