The Irish Museums Survey 2016, published in December 2016, is “quietly encouraging” reports The Irish Times.
Funded by the Irish Research Council, the Irish Museums Survey 2016 is produced by a partnership between University College Dublin, the Irish Museums Association (IMA) and the Irish Museums Trust. Of the 230 museums contacted, 118 responded to the detailed survey.
Despite the periods of economic recession since the previous survey in 2005, visitor numbers have remained fairly constant for the major museums, at more than six million a year, with just over 60 per cent of those visitors being Irish. However, a quarter of the museums responding to the survey did not have visitor numbers data.
68 per cent of the museums surveyed were established since 1980, when the priorities for funding placed high profile capital projects ahead of day to day operations, maintenance and development. Funding cuts since then have been a challenge.
An online presence is seen as essential; 97.5 per cent of museums have their own website or are represented on another organisation’s website. The level of information provided varies from basic to full digital access to all collections for 17 per cent of those surveyed. Of the 52 responses received to the question about website visitor count, 36 did not know the number of visitors to their websites.
A high level of engagement with social media was reported with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram being the most used platforms.
83% of those museums that are represented online, via websites and social media consider, the communication tools and resources valuable, however, only 40% of respondents have in place a digital strategy.
Download the full survey here.