Donegal County Museum
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|Donegal County Museum|
|Músaem Condae Dhún na nGall|
|Location||Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland|
Donegal County Museum (Irish: Músaem Condae Dhún na nGall), located on High Road in the large urban environment of Letterkenny in Ireland, is a county museum. The building itself was constructed in 1842 when it was used as a workhouse during the Famine. Its purpose is to collect, record, preserve, and display the material evidence and associated information of the history of Donegal.
Letterkenny Board of Guardians held their first meeting in July 1841. At this meeting it was decided to build a workhouse in the town. The constructor of the building was Alex Deane of Cork. He agreed to complete the building, on a 4-acre (16,000 m2) site, for £5,792. The building commenced in 1842 in neo-Tudor style . Stone used in the building was taken from Lord Abercorn's Quarry. The workhouse doors opened in 1845, shortly before the Famine. 46 paupers were admitted. A dispensary was attached to the workhouse and later became Saint Anne's Maternity Hospital.
The museum first opened to the public in 1987. Due to the success of the museum in the early years it was extended after it received European Union funding in 1989. It was given an official opening by President Mary Robinson on June 14, 1992.
The Museum holds a substantial collection of original artefacts that have a connection to the greater Donegal area. These items cover subjects such as archaeology, history, social history and folklife. There are two exhibition galleries, a workshop, a storage facility (where artefacts are preserved and stored under appropriate environmental conditions) and a number of offices within the building.
The first floor gallery contains artefacts connected to the history of County Donegalfrom the prehistoric stone age period, through to the twentieth century and the present day. Each year, the Museum hosts a wide variety of temporary exhibitions on the ground floor.
The Museum was originally housed in what was once the Warden's house of the Letterkenny Workhouse, built in 1843. Between 1990 and 1991, the existing building underwent renovations and an extension was built. Further renovating was carried out between 1999 and 2000.
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