Press Release: 15 December 2010
Mary Hanafin TD, Minster for Tourism, Culture and Sport, previewed the National Gallery’s new website at a special presentation in No. 5 South Leinster Street, today (Wednesday, 15th December 2010).
Visitors to the new site will now have access to hundreds of images of works in the collection as well as information on the various artists together with background documentation. Highlights of the collection can be easily browsed, while access to the extensive online collection, library catalogue and archive collections is also live.
Previewing the new website in the Gallery today, Minister Mary Hanafin said: “the Gallery’s new website provides a wealth of information on the institution, its collections, services and public programmes. It will be a valuable aid in increasing online access to its resources and keeping the public informed on day-to-day events and news. The site will also provide access to 100s of images of artworks with individual commentaries which will be of interest to art lovers, students, teachers, collectors, journalists, and researchers. With a major refurbishment programme commencing shortly, the new website will also afford the opportunity to browse the Gallery’s acquisitions from the last ten years.”
The new site, which was project managed by NGI Library & Archives with the participation of all Gallery Departments, went live on December 1st 2010. It is currently undergoing user testing to fine-tune operational and navigational issues. The site comprises a number of different systems: a website content management system, collection management systems and a commercial online system.
There is practical information for visitors to the Gallery – opening hours, floor plans, accessibility information as well as a comprehensive guide to the institution, its history and current developments, including a section dedicated to the refurbishment project of the historic Dargan and Milltown Wings, scheduled to start in earnest this January.
The ‘This Week’ feature on the home page provides news updates on programmes and events in the Gallery. Details of the various education programmes, including life-long learning initiatives, information for schools, community groups, teachers and young people are also accessible. Much of the content on the site will be available in both English and Irish.
Information on current and forthcoming exhibitions, as well as an archive of the exhibitions held in the Gallery in recent years is now online, as well as information on thousands of research resources relating to Ireland’s artistic and cultural heritage and the visual arts in general.
The Gallery’s social networking pages, Twitter and Facebook, which have been available since 2009, will have a much stronger presence on the new site. There are also details on how individuals can support the Gallery through gifts, patronage, sponsorship, becoming a Friend of the Gallery or volunteering.
When the refurbishment project gets underway in the historic Dargan and Milltown wings of the Gallery, there will be limited access to the public galleries. However, at a time of restricted physical access the new website will be key in providing virtual access and up-to-date information on the collection, as well as access to online shopping through the Gallery’s Online Bookshop.
New content will be continuously added to the site, greatly enhancing the visitor’s experience.
The Gallery invites feedback from the public on the new facility by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by sending through comments to the Gallery’s social media pages.