The museum has possession of approximately 20,000 individual artefacts. With the reopening of the new Museum of Free Derry in February 2017 most of these items will now be transferred to a specially built archive space, and public access will become much easier. In the longer term a major digitisation project will make this archive fully accessible.
It's an exciting time for the Museum of Free Derry, which has long since established itself as a major visitor attraction for those who visit the city. To date circa 150,000 people have visited the Museum and it is ranked No 2 for the city on the TripAdvisor website.
It has been recommended in the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain as the only properly ‘accessible’ site in the city. The new museum is just as accessible as its predecessor, with lift access to its new upper floor.
The Museum of Free Derry has become a major resource for schools and colleges from all over Ireland and beyond, and the new premises mean we now have a dedicated learning area for use by educational and other groups.
It draws visitors from both the Unionist and Nationalist communities.
It is open to anyone who wants to find out more about the history of the city and the civil rights movement.
It has been visited by numerous high profile, national and international civil rights and political leaders.
The £2.4m redevelopment project is funded by Tourism Northern Ireland, Department of Social Development, Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Derry City and Strabane District Council. The museum has also received revenue and programme funding from Derry City and Strabane District Council, Department of Social Development and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin.
The rebuild more than doubles the size of the museum, adding a state of the art exhibition space, a classroom, reflective and temporary exhibition space and an archive and research facility. It will help the Museum to reach its full potential as a world class centre for research and learning about an important period in the history of Ireland and how conflict can be managed and transformed.