Annual Conference

The Irish Museums Association (IMA) would like to invite proposals for presentations at its annual conference, 'Collecting the Now', held in association with Fermanagh County Museum on 2 and 3 March 2018 in Enniskillen. This conference is part of a two-year programme exploring contemporary collecting in museums.

The IMA's annual spring conference is the main conference of the year in the Irish museum sector, giving museum professionals, academics, and practitioners from the wider cultural landscape the opportunity to meet and exchange views.


How can museum collect for the future and represent the 'now'? Do we have the objectivity to identify and select the items which will define our society for future generations?

We live in a period of unparalleled human consumption making the decision about what to preserve from our lives - and what to discard - increasingly difficult. Ironically, despite the unprecedented material abundance of our age, significant aspects of contemporary life are happening in a virtual world which most museums are still struggling to document and record.

While museums seek to remain relevant, for many, their collections and collecting practices remain rooted in the past. Museums see themselves as egalitarian and democratic institutions, but this is not always reflected in their collections and the way they collect.

How can museums ensure that the collections capture contemporary cultural changes and shifting perspectives, moving on in some cases from the collected object? Are there new, conceptual, collaborative and participatory ways to collect which will produce more imaginative and diverse museum collections and exhibitions for the future?


Submissions should respond to the theme as outlined above. Please email your submission to by noon, 4 December 2018

Preferred format: Word Document
Include: Title of presentation
Speaker's biography (150 words maximum)
Presentation abstract (200 words maximum)
Contact details (email and telephone number)

Notification of selection will be within 10 days of the closing date for submissions.
Selected presentations must be delivered in person.
Presentations will be of 20 minutes duration.
The language of the conference is English.


For further information, please contact:

Gina O'Kelly | Irish Museums Association |11 Parnell Square East, Dublin D01 ND60
Tel: + 353 (0)1 412 0939 Mobile: + 353 (0)87 279 0518
Website: Email: