At 14 Henrietta Street, we aim to protect, share and add to the cultural life of the city. We tell stories, make connections, and uncover history.
One of the primary ways we do this is through our collection.
The collection at 14 Henrietta Street provides a starting point for visitors and people to understand the city of Dublin and its history. The collection helps us tell the stories of former residents and preserve their history for future generations.
We strive towards the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI) which guides our approach to the conservation, management, care and exhibition of the collection.
What’s in our collection?
A significant part of our collection is made up of the building itself, which is over 300 years old.
Following Dublin City Council’s purchase of number 14 in 2008, the building underwent a 10-year restoration journey to rescue, stabilise and conserve the house, preserving it for generations to come.
Significant work was required to save elements of the building (such as the front façade, the roof and rafters) and expert craftspeople were employed for specialist repairs and new works on aspects such as stone, iron, joinery, plasterwork and cornicing.
We adopt a preventive conservation approach in caring for the building which means we observe, monitor, and analyse the collection and its environment to make informed decisions on how to best preserve and protect it.
Memories and stories
Memories and stories are an important part of our collection.
This includes archival material such as photographs and documents in addition to oral histories and research. We continue to collect oral histories relating to Dublin life and the life of its people, primarily through Your Tenement Memories. (If you would like to share your memories with us, visit the Your Tenement Memories page to find out how you can get involved.)
These memories and voices are at the heart of 14 Henrietta Street and continually inform and shape the museum experience.
Our collection features many objects - both those you see on display when you visit the museum, and also those kept in storage.
Original objects of social, civic, industrial and historical significance relating to the social history of the house are displayed in the rooms of the house. These objects help to tell the story of the times they represent. While we have many original artefacts, the collection also includes reproductions and models of period objects which help to immerse visitors in their surroundings.
A smaller part of the collection are the artistic responses you will see on the guided tour of the house.
Currently, these include commissioned films and poetry which illuminate the stories of the house, and add to the continuing narrative.
Caring for the collection
The highest level of care and documentation possible is given to all artefacts in our custody, and the highest degree of accountability is attached to the collection.
We have a Collections Management Policy in place to ensure that all items are exhibited, stored, and maintained in accordance with accepted professional standards to the highest degree possible.
The Policy outlines our approach to preventive conservation, storage, handling, housekeeping, pest control, and includes conducting an inventory of the full collection regularly.
As a social history museum, we are committed to continually adding to our collection.
We continue to conduct new research, cultural engagement projects and oral history interviews on an ongoing basis to increase the archives section of the collection, inform programming, enhance the archives and build a documentary record.
We welcome donations of objects with social, civic, industrial and historical significance which relate to the architectural and social history conveyed in the museum.
If you have any object that you believe may be of interest to the museum, that you might like to donate, please contact our Collections Manager, Suzanne Freeman, via firstname.lastname@example.org
All objects offered as donations will be considered based on their historic relevance and significance in relation to 14 Henrietta Street.