EPIC launches campaign to collect emigrant stories

The EPIC museum relies heavily on interactive displays


By Irish Echo Staff

EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin, is seeking stories from people who have lived overseas and have returned to Ireland, as well as those with emigrant family members or ancestors.

As part of a special Europe-wide project, the interactive museum in Dublin’s Docklands is inviting people to come along on the weekend of May 26 and 27 to share their stories of migration.

People are encouraged to bring along one or more objects that are part of their own or their family’s migration story, said a release.

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They can be any sort of object: letters, postcards, photographs, tickets, diaries, art works, items of clothing, recipes, books, footage, mementos, badges, or songs.

Jessica Traynor, Deputy Museum Director of EPIC said: “The Irish are a nation of emigrants. Our history and identity has long been shaped by the comings and goings of people. We all know someone who has moved to the UK, U.S., Australia, Canada or further afield.

“But emigration is no longer the one-way journey it was in the past, and many of us have lived overseas and returned. As a digital museum, we want to preserve these stories for future generations.”

Stories collected will become part of the online Europeana Migration Collection, as well as featuring on EPIC’s website.

Europeana Collections is Europe’s digital library, museum, gallery and archive. The project aims to show how the flow of people and ideas adds to the richness of culture.

“We are encouraging young and old to share their story with us. On the day, we will listen to your story and photograph your objects so you can take them home again. What you bring just needs to have special meaning or memories attached to it, it doesn’t need to be worth a lot,” said Traynor.

Two additional story collecting weekends will take place during 2018 at EPIC. On August 18-19, the focus will be on “New Irish Communities,” while on November 24-25 stories of “Women Migrants” will be collected.

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is an “interactive experience” and bills itself as the world’s first fully digital museum and one of Ireland’s newest major visitor attractions.

EPIC tells the story of the more than ten million people who left Ireland over the centuries. Easy-to-use technology brings visitors on a journey through the Irish emigration experience, exploring why people left and the adventure, adversity and triumph that awaited them.

The interactive galleries at EPIC tell the fascinating stories of over 300 Irish people, past and present, and relive some of the greatest achievements in the world of music, art, culture, sport, business, politics, fashion, and science. The museum is suitable for children as well as adults.

EPIC also houses a state-of-the-art genealogy center, the Irish Family History Centre, helping visitors uncover their Irish ancestry.

EPIC was officially opened in May 2016 by founder Neville Isdell and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson. It was designed by Event Communications, the multi-award winning designers of Titanic Belfast.