Over the past 25 years the Heritage Council has worked to protect, promote and support access to Irish heritage in all its expressions – built, natural, cultural, intangible, archaeological and scientific. In late 2020 the Heritage Council announced the Heritage Sector Support Fund scheme, intended to strengthen/stabilise the heritage sector in Ireland by providing support towards the core costs for heritage organisations. They would do this to help organisations to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic and become financially sustainable in the future, as well as to support organisations in delivering a programme of work that contributes to heritage priorities at a national level.
In early 2021 the 100 Archive was delighted to hear we had been awarded a grant as part of the scheme. This year the Heritage Council supported the 100 Archive to complete a work plan involving annual activity such as the publication of the 2020 100 Archive Selection, our ongoing partnership with the National Library of Ireland and the delivery of an event as part of Heritage Week in August. In 2021 the 100 Archive also undertook further development of 100archive.com, the home of all our activities, whose design was funded by the Heritage Council in 2018. This included the implementation of search functionality to make the site more user friendly and the integration of a more robust means of hosting and displaying videos as part of design projects featured on the site. Massive thanks in particular to Dotplex and Post for this work, which continues as resources allow.
With Heritage Council support the 100 Archive also undertook a capacity building programme consisting of bespoke training and consultancy from Carmichael, the leading specialist training and support body for nonprofits in Ireland. With the help of Carmichael, the 100 Archive addressed its organisational structure, policies and governance, putting in place a range of new policies and procedures and planning a steering committee recruitment process for 2022 based on clearer responsibilities and in order to fill roles based on a properly identified skills matrix. Keep an eye out in 2022 when we will invite expressions of interest from the community — and beyond — to contribute to the next chapter of our development.
This year has been, for you our audience and community, an apparently quiet one compared to previous years of big events or major projects. However, a huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes with the express purpose of future-proofing the 100 Archive’s collections, not to mention the organisation itself. We still have so much work to do to ensure the past 10 years of presenting, discussing and contextualising are built upon and that activity sustained. But it’s clear that our only hope of achieving that is through collaboration. So again, a big thank you to our recent collaborators Dotplex, Post and Carmichael and our 2021 funder the Heritage Council, as well as the many individuals in the design community who volunteer their time and expertise. Our articles team, our two selection panels and our steering committee are owed particular thanks, but thank you to everyone who submits work, contributes perspectives or simply keeps in touch. Onwards, all of us together.