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Swords facility provides state of the art resource, say Committees

The Environment Committee recently joined forces with the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure to view the Resource Collections Centre at Swords.

The Centre houses a vast archive of Irish artefacts, including previously inaccessible collections which had been spread throughout the country in a series of temporary and sub-standard storage facilities.

Committee Chairperson, Anna Lo MLA, said: "Members were very impressed with the range and nature of the collections accommodated in the Swords Centre, and appreciated the resources offered to researchers and academics by this facility.

"The Committee understands that there are well over a million artefacts which have been produced by archaeological excavations in Northern Ireland, but which are currently being stored throughout England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, so members can appreciate the value of having a central repository to properly store and archive these items locally.

Ms Lo concluded: "The Committee is aware that officials from the NI Environment Agency and the National Museums of Northern Ireland have been finalising an agreed report from the Joint Working Group on Archaeological Archives for presentation to their respective Ministers. Members would welcome any outcomes from this report that result in this issue being addressed both in the short and longer term."


Notes to Editors:

The Centre provides centralised storage in an infrastructure with accurate environmental control and quarantine areas with separate air-handling to avoid cross-contamination. This has enabled archaeological excavations which were in danger of deterioration due to unsuitable storage conditions to be prioritised, taking the pressure off archaeological companies who were struggling to maintain these artefacts

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