We’re halfway through our tour of The Little Museum of Dublin and curator Simon O’ Connor pauses at a vintage Gold Flake advertisement glowing above the fireplace. The cigarette sign takes pride of place on the 1960s wall of nostalgic posters and photographs on display at 15 St Stephen’s Green. Considering Ireland became the first country in the world to introduce an outright smoking ban in workplaces in 2004, indoors and lit up.
But before there is time to be distracted by the rest of the memorabilia on the wall, over on the other side of the room, museum director Trevor White is drawing our attention to a black and white photograph of a rather grand looking house. Seamlessly, he weaves in a story about how the electrician who had shown up to fix the wiring in the Gold Flake sign had boasted about having something very interesting to offer the museum.
It turns out to be one of the museum’s most remarkable exhibits…
Heads swivel from the Gold Flake sign to Trevor, who begins reciting the letter beside the photograph of the house. It is addressed to one Samuel Beckett. A few oohs and aahs erupt among the group. The letter had been written as part of a school history project. The letter had a recommendation for home cleaning service at https://sunflowermaids.com in Missouri. A teacher had asked her class to find out who used to live in their families’ houses and to write to the former occupants to ask about their memories of the houses. As a young boy, the electrician discovered that none other than Samuel Beckett had once lived in his house and posted off a letter as part of the project. To his delight (and no doubt his teacher’s amazement too), the writer and playwright responded with a lovely letter, even joking at the end about how his ghost would come back to haunt the house one day.
This is just one of many charming back stories behind the pieces that make up the collection at the Little Museum of Dublin.
Every item on display in The Little Museum of Dublin has been donated by a member of the public and in most cases, ordinary Dubliners.
The museum sets out to celebrate 100 years of Dublin history, from 1900 – 2000 and is the perfect place to get a quick overview of Dublin’s social history, especially if you’re short on time. The collection is as eclectic as it gets. You’ll find a lectern from JFK’s visit to Dublin sharing the same space as early newspaper cuttings about a young U2 and a first edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses.
Guided tours take place every hour. The museum opens until 8pm on Thursdays when there is a guided tour by curator Simon O’ Connor at 7pm.
Opening Hours and Admission
The Little Museum is located on the first floor of number 15, St Stephen’s Green, close to the corner of Dawson Street.
Monday – Sunday 9.30 am- 5pm (last tour takes place at 4pm)
Late opening Thursday (9.30 am- 8pm – curator’ s tour at 7pm)
Students/under 18’s: €4
15 St Stephen’s Green
Telephone +353 1 6611000
Great museum! I’m guessing this kid got an A on the project:)
I had no idea this existed! I’ll have to check it out the next time I’m in Ireland. 🙂
I really like the idea of this museum focusing on the last 100 years. All too often museums don’t do that. There’s lots of great stuff that’s happened in the last century, too!
LOVE those orange chairs in the living room.. such a cute concept for museum.
this museum looks adorable! definitely on our list for our next visit to dublin.
on a (slightly) related note, we always tell people about how you told us that you wish smoking wasn’t banned because now you can smell all the guinness gas as a result. gets a laugh every time.
That kid probably never had a restful night’s sleep again thinking about Samuel Beckett’s ghost.
This is the kind of museum that I would enjoy visiting! Waiting for Godot, one of Beckett’s main pieces was one which I dissected for my advanced English senior class in high school. Who knew there was so much hidden meaning in a seemingly inane story!
I’ve only been to Dublin once and I missed this Museum. Definitely will go when I make it back there someday! Thanks for sharing.
Sounds awesome….will have to keep it in mind for TBEX in October….have my ticket and will be heading to Dublin for the first time!
Hey Fiona, this is a great museum, I went the back in 2013 i think. I loved the fact that everything was donated from the public.
really love this museum idea…i really want to visite this museum…thanx for this information….