In 2011, Trevor White and Simon O’Connor put out word that they needed items for a museum about Ireland’s capital city. Dubliners responded in force, and to date the quirky, crowdsourced museum exhibits over 5,000 artifacts that have been donated or loaned.
Sitting on the edge of St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin, the three floors of the museum are covered in art, articles, pictures, postcards, and other memorabilia related to the city’s 20th century history. There are artifacts from famous Dubliners, like James Joyce’s death mask and a first edition of Ulysses, and famous visitors, like President John F. Kennedy’s lectern. There’s an entire room dedicated to the rise of the band U2, which includes a career timeline and a very comfortable egg chair visitors can sit on.
The contents of the museum are certainly eclectic. In addition to things like an unopened bottle of lemonade from 1918 there’s the personal archive of the “Shaking Hand of Dublin,” 10-time Dublin mayor Alfred “Alfie” Byrne, a record holder for his political success.
The award-winning museum offers classes for kids about the city’s history, in the hopes of spreading civic pride, and also a program in which Dublin “ambassadors” take first time visitors out for tea or a pint as an introduction to the city’s hospitality.
Know Before You Go
The first floor is free to wander, but the second and third floors are viewed with a guide. The tour includes an optional walk around St. Stephen's Green where the guide points out where in the park the Irish revolution took place and explains more about the statues and buildings. They also tell you about the caretaker and his ducks during the revolution which is, of course, an interesting story. A ticket for the tour includes 10 percent off your bill at the cafe downstairs.