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About Donegal County Museum

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Donegal County Museum is based in an old stone building, which was once part of the Letterkenny Workhouse, opened in 1845. The exhibition in the first floor gallery tells the story of  County Donegal from Prehistory to the Twentieth century. In the ground floor gallery we hold a series of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, which cover a wide range of topics. The Museum also hosts a series of talks and events during the year on topics as varied as history, geology, archaeology and flora and fauna.


Donegal County Museum contains an ever growing collection of over 8,000 artefacts. The collection represents a wide range of periods and topics. It is a good representative collection of the county, containing many interesting objects some of which are of national and international importance.


County Museums are significant in that they are a home for a county’s many historic treasures and they become centres for research, education as well as maintaining high standards of collections care. In Ireland, an official County Museum is one that is operated and funded by a Local Authority. Donegal County Museum is a local authority museum. Currently there are thirteen County Museums throughout Ireland.



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Designated Museum

 As a “Designated Museum”, under the National Monuments (Amendment) Act, 1994, and the National Cultural Institutions Act, 1997, Donegal County Museum is legally entitled to retain objects on behalf of the State. All archaeological objects found with no known owner belong to the State. All such finds must be reported to the National Museum or to a Designated museum e.g. Donegal County Museum. If the object is primarily of local importance it will be kept in the Donegal County Museum for educational or display purposes.


Multi functional space in Donegal County Museum


This multi-functional space can accommodate a wide range of public events and activities, such as educational workshops, meetings, film screenings and lectures.

The works were part funded through the Arts and Culture Capital Scheme 2016-2018 under the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.


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Archaeological Survey of Donegal


The Museum is the home of the Archaeological Survey of County Donegal. The survey contains the original field notes, maps, plans and slides of the sites and monuments listed in the archaeological survey that was published in 1983. Members of the public can consult the original files by appointment.



North West Film Archive

The North West Film Archive is available for viewing in the Museum. This digital archive contains a wide range of film material relating to the counties of Derry and Donegal. It contains  over 90 hours of programmes, documentaries, feature films, shorts and news footage from some of the major televisions channels as well as Super 8 amateur film and home video dating back over 50 years. The archive is available for viewing free of charge.


The Donegal Islands Film and Radio Archive

The Donegal Islands Film and Radio Archive is a unique digital collection of archive material relating to the islands off County Donegal. This archive contains over 50 hours of film, television and video in the form of 94 separate items such as newsreels, television news and documentaries and home movies from the 1950s to the present day. The archive is available for viewing free of charge.