In 2011, Trevor White and Simon O’Connor put out word that they needed items for a museum about Ireland’s capital city. Dubliners responded in force, and to date the quirky, crowdsourced museum exhibits over 5,000 artifacts that have been donated or loaned.
Sitting on the edge of St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin, the three floors of the museum are covered in art, articles, pictures, postcards, and other memorabilia related to the city’s 20th century history. There are artifacts from famous Dubliners, like James Joyce’s death mask and a first edition of Ulysses, and famous visitors, like President John F. Kennedy’s lectern. There’s an entire room dedicated to the rise of the band U2, which includes a career timeline and a very comfortable egg chair visitors can sit on.
The contents of the museum are certainly eclectic. In addition to things like an unopened bottle of lemonade from 1918 there’s the personal archive of the “Shaking Hand of Dublin,” 10-time Dublin mayor Alfred “Alfie” Byrne, a record holder for his political success.
The award-winning museum offers classes for kids about the city’s history, in the hopes of spreading civic pride, and also a program in which Dublin “ambassadors” take first time visitors out for tea or a pint as an introduction to the city’s hospitality.