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Research And Publications

From time to time NIMC undertakes research on various aspects of the museum sector in Northern Ireland. Below you will find some of the reports we have published in recent years.

  • Museums Change Lives NI

    27 April 2020 - Developing Audiences

    Museums can provide us with a sense of place. They increase our sense of pride in our local community and in 'this place'. They can inspire, challenge and stimulate us, and increase our sense of well-being. Museums can help us understand, debate, and challenge societal concerns such as poverty and discrimination. Museums enhance everyone's life chances by breaking down barriers to access and inclusion through engaging with diverse communities, and sharing collections and knowledge. Find out how museums in Northern Ireland are changing people's lives.

    nimc-mclni-web.pdf (2859KB Adobe PDF file)

  • Women in our Culture

    6 March 2020 - Collections

    Women make an immeasurable contribution to our society. From innovative artists and writers, service personnel, farmers, actresses, to the women who campaigned for social reform, this booklet highlights a small but diverse range of women and provides some insight into their lives and achievements. The booklet features images of items from local museum collections related to the women and their lives such as photographs, newspaper clippings, uniforms, sculptures, medals, and paintings. To find out more about the women identified in this booklet take a visit to the local museums who hold further information.

    women-in-our-culture-final-for-web.pdf (1978KB Adobe PDF file)

  • Protest: A Collection from Local Museums in Northern Ireland

    11 December 2018 - Collections

    Objects can be used to highlight campaigns, stand up for different values and ideas and help bring about or disrupt change. This collection portrays real events and conditions, but more poignantly, taps into sensibilities, objections and perceived struggles which are of local, national and international relevance. This booklet can also be downloaded for free on iBooks at

    protest-final-very-low-res.pdf (1540KB Adobe PDF file)

  • Security in Local Museums 2018

    11 July 2019 - Museum Infrastructure and Resources

    Museums are duty bound to provide a secure environment for their collections, workforce and visitors. In 2016 security was identified as an issue for local museums through NIMC's 'Mapping Trends in Local Museums' research, through areas for improvement identified through Museum Accreditation assessments for phase 2 (2011 Standard). As well as this during 2017-18 NIMC received a significant number of enquiries in relation to security indicating it is an issue of concern for museums at present. Research was carried out with the sector in 2018 through a questionnaires and face to face interviews so as to gain a better insight into the challenges in this area and to develop an action plan to address issues in relation to security.

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  • Museum Visitor Profiling - Final Report

    30 September 2016 - Developing Audiences

    Audiences NI (ANI) were commissioned by the Northern Ireland Museums Council (NIMC) to complete a Visitor Profiling Project in 6 local museums. The Visitor Profiling in Local Museums Project aimed to achieve the following overall objectives: To capture visitor information relating to section 75 information and gather additional information relating to visitor feedback in local museums; To develop a visitor profiling methodology which can be used for future museum visitor profiling and benchmarking; To strengthen the capacity, understanding and skills among museum staff to carry out and analyse visitor profile survey information. This report presents the overall findings from the research completed in all six museums.

    museum-visitor-profiling-final-report-august-2016.pdf (1965KB Adobe PDF file)

  • Mapping Trends in Local Museums 2016

    30 August 2016 - Museum Infrastructure and Resources

    NIMC has published the findings of its latest quinquennial review of the local museum sector in Northern Ireland. This survey of Accredited museums, the fourth undertaken since 2001, provides a detailed overview of the infrastructure, resources and governance of local museums, their learning and audience development activity, as well as the standards being achieved in the care, conservation and management of their collections. It gives a snapshot of the work done during 2014-15, reveals the prevalent trends through comparisons with past surveys, and highlights current issues and challenges.

    mapping-trends-2016.pdf (959KB Adobe PDF file)

  • Visitor Figures 2013

    31 July 2015 - Developing Audiences

    The Northern Ireland Museums Council collates figures on the attendance at Northern Ireland's local museums on an annual basis. This document gives the visitor numbers for each of the Accredited local museums during 2013.

    museum-visitor-numbers-2011-2013.pdf (78KB Adobe PDF file)

  • Local Museum Resources Survey 2013

    4 July 2013 - Museum Infrastructure and Resources

    Over the last three years the Museums Association has monitored the impact of budget cuts on museums across the UK. Using the same methodology, NIMC has examined the budgetary changes across our local museums and their impact upon the services they deliver.

    local-museum-resources-survey-2013.pdf (165KB Adobe PDF file)

  • Visitor Figures 2012

    30 April 2013 - Developing Audiences

    The Northern Ireland Museums Council collates figures on the attendances at Northern Ireland's local museums on an annual basis. This document gives the visitor numbers for each of the 37 Accredited local museums during 2012.

    museum-visitor-numbers-2012.pdf (58KB Adobe PDF file)

  • The Future of Northern Ireland's Local Museum Services

    13 November 2012 - Museum Infrastructure and Resources

    The imminent reform of local government will fundamentally affect how local museums are governed, how they operate, how they are funded, what they collect and what programmes they will deliver. Such change has to be done in a considered and methodical manner. To this end, NIMC presents the impact of the proposed reduction in the number of councils, from 26 to 11, and a series of recommendation in this respect.

    the-future-of-northern-ireland-local-museum-services-2012.pdf (641KB Adobe PDF file)

  • Mapping Trends in Northern Irelands Local Museums 2012

    1 November 2012 - Museum Infrastructure and Resources

    Every five years the Northern Ireland Museums Council undertakes a survey of the sector. The 2012 Mapping Trends is the third of its kind, others having been published in 2002 and 2007. These surveys allow attainments and trends to be identified and used as the basis of the Council's developmental strategies.

    mapping-trends-in-northern-irelands-local-museums-2012.pdf (555KB Adobe PDF file)

  • Staffing and Employment Trends within Northern Ireland's Museums

    1 January 2010 - Museum Infrastructure and Resources

    At the end of 2009 the Northern Ireland Museums Council carried out a survey to gather data on staffing levels, the roles and responsibilities of those who work in the sector, on pay, and length of service. From the gleaned information it has been possible to identify some notable trends in employment, particularly in relation to how staff are contracted, gender issues, staff turnovers and volunteering across the sector.

    staffing-and-employment-trends-within-nis-museums.pdf (607KB Adobe PDF file)

  • Volunteering in Local Museums in Northern Ireland

    1 January 2010 - Museum Infrastructure and Resources

    This report has been compiled by NIMC and reveals the vital, and indeed indispensable role volunteers play across the local museum sector in Northern Ireland. It also offers pointers to museums towards 'good practice' and other sources of information with the aim of enhancing their knowledge and understanding of responsibilities associated with working with volunteers, and provides practical guidance which it is hoped will prove useful should museums wish to embrace the principles and objectives of the 2011 European Year of Volunteering.

    volunteering-in-local-museums-in-northern-ireland.pdf (596KB Adobe PDF file)

  • Learning and Access in Museums - Case Studies

    1 January 2009 - Education and Learning

    The notable creativity and diversity of learning activity currently being provided by our museums is demonstrated in this document which consists of 24 case studies.

    learning-and-access-in-museums-case-studies.pdf (1167KB Adobe PDF file)

  • Learning within Museums in Northern Ireland - Learning Report

    1 January 2009 - Education and Learning

    This Report surveys the learning provision across Northern Ireland's Accredited Museums and presents a series of recommendations.

    learning-within-museums-in-northern-ireland-learning-report.pdf (1405KB Adobe PDF file)

  • Marketing Northern Ireland's Museums

    1 January 2009 - Developing Audiences

    This report looks at marketing across all Accredited museums in Northern Ireland and maps the associated activity under six headings - Policy, Place, Product, Price, People and Promotion.

    marketing-northern-irelands-museums.pdf (1956KB Adobe PDF file)

  • Cultural Diversity - 'Our People, Our Times'

    4 April 2006 - Education and Learning

    This booklet accompanied a touring exhibition which the Council curated in 2006. The focus was upon the history of Northern Ireland's cultural diversity - 'Are we not all migrants or descendents of migrants to this land?'.

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