A plan is to be put in place to create a ‘sustainable vision’ for the Kilkenny Archives — as well explore options for a permanent home for them.
It follows a notice of motion brought by Green Party councillor Maria Dollard which was agreed by members at a recent council meeting. Cllr Dollard said the motion was on foot of representations made to herself and to Minister of State Malcolm Noonan by groups including Kilkenny Archives and Kilkenny Archaeological Society.
It calls on the council to embark on a ‘collaborative process’ with the Kilkenny Archives, Kilkenny Archaeological Society and other relevant interests ‘to develop a sustainable vision and plan for the management, digitisation, and public display of the archives’.
It also says the plan should recognise the significance in particular of the civic archives ‘and allow wider public access to these important photographic collections and other important collections’. The motion also calls for the outlining of a sustainable funding model and a permanent home for the archives.
“I am asking the members to support this so we can bring our archives up to the standard of other cities,” said Cllr Dollard.
Cllr Patrick O’Neill seconded the motion: “We’ve had ‘difficult budgets, in particular the last two years, and it’s not something we were able to commit to, but it something that has to be done,” he said.
“As a group, it’s something we definitely need to put a concrete plan in place for.”
Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick complimented Cllr Dollard on bringing the item forward: “We need to find a suitable venue for all of our archives because it is of such value to people right across the world who visit Kilkenny or have connections to Kilkenny,” he said.
The members will have an opportunity to back up their sentiments with action when they come to agree their annual budget in November. Last year, maintaining funding for the archives proved a challenge and the archives temporarily closed for a month due to budgetary constraints.