Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI)
The Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) is a vibrant partnership between University College Dublin and the National Library of Ireland that celebrates Ireland’s literary heritage and inspires future generations to engage with the art of writing and reading. Its approach aims to dismantle elitist perceptions of literature and highlight the unifying power of storytelling and the written (and spoken) word.
Launched in September 2019, the Museum of Literature Ireland serves as a home for prized artefacts of the Irish State’s literary collections. MoLI explores the wide canon of Irish writing through its permanent and temporary exhibitions. By offering immersive multimedia presentations, maintaining an agile exhibition turnover (with approximately 3-4 new major exhibitions each year), fostering cross-disciplinary collaborations, and hosting a vibrant calendar of public events (both on-site and offline), the Museum of Literature Ireland has succeeded in quickly cultivating a diverse and devoted audience, despite facing extended closures in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
MoLI operates as a new, values-driven museum with a mission to engage everyone, particularly those who may not typically engage with the literary artform. The museum develops programmes in close collaboration with local community groups, placing a strong emphasis on presenting diverse voices to empower people across various age, gender, sexuality and socio-economic spectrums. The museum provides opportunities for public engagement at all stages of life, from early-years education programmes and young writers bursaries to adult literacy workshops and free public live events.
The Museum of Literature Ireland also strives to engage audiences on local, national and international levels. In addition to supporting programmes funded by Horizon Europe and the Marie Curie Fellowships, the museum is currently the Dublin partner for the ambitious EU-funded project Ulysses: A European Odyssey, which involves hosting artists from various European cities and working closely with a network of 17 other cities in the European Union.
The museum does not receive direct funding from their partners or operational state funding. MoLI relies on a variety of self-generated revenue streams to ensure its self-sustainability, including ticket sales, retail operations, membership fees and venue hire. The museum also receives support from local corporate sponsors and actively pursues grant funding at national and EU levels.
“This community museum in Dublin, a UNESCO City of Literature, has established itself as a strong advocate for engagement and inclusivity. It has reached a significant number of participants, including 80,000 listeners for their podcast and 7,500 visitors from schools. The Museum of Literature Ireland actively celebrates diversity and promotes creativity and artistic expression through, for example, their bursaries. The museum’s effort to address the declining interest in literature among young people is commendable, as it ensures that the artform remains accessible and relevant”, the Awards’ Jury commended.
“During the COVID-19 closures, the Museum of Literature Ireland showcased innovative ideas to reach its audiences. Through educational programmes, broadcasts and lectures, they effectively reach diverse communities, including marginalised groups, such as the LGBTQ+ community, with a solid methodology and a strong bottom-up approach. The museum has also given due recognition to the vital role of community and volunteers in sustaining and expanding the museum’s impact”, the Jury added.
Contact: Simon O’Connor | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.moli.ie