LARNE Museum is set to dispose of dozens of old newspapers, maps and books in its collection unless a new home can be found for them.
Staff at the museum have set about cataloguing and organising over 16,000 items in a bid to ensure that only relevant objects are held in the archives.
And Larne Council has now granted them permission to dispose of a number of items, including issues of the Larne Reporter newspaper dating back to 1883. The copies of the now-defunct paper have been described as being “badly covered in black mould and illegible”, with the potential to damage the rest of the collection. Copies of the Larne Reporter, which was published from 1865-1904, are available on microfilm in Larne Library.
Old issues of the Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph from 1894 and 1904, as well as a copy of the Larne Times from 1945, will also be disposed of as they are “in very poor condition, badly torn and disintegrating”. The Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph (1893-1936) is also available on microfilm, and the museum holds bound copies of the Larne Times.
Several issues of old national newspapers, including the Belfast Telegraph and the Daily Herald, are also listed for disposal. Museum staff said copies of these papers “are all held elsewhere for research purposes, and space in the store can be better attributed to other items”.
Finally, almost 20 maps from around the world are also to be disposed of, with staff stating that the items are “of no obvious use and there is therefore no point storing them”. It was added that these maps would most likely not be of any use to a school of youth group, as the names of countries and cities will have changed since their publication.
Before getting rid of the items, staff will first investigate whether they may be transferred to another museum where they would be more relevant. If this option cannot be done, then items will be put on a general list for any other museum that may be interested in them. Failing that, the items will be disposed of “in an appropriate matter”.
A representative for the museum said: “The museum has a duty of care to all items in its collection, and there are ethical considerations that staff must work around, but we cannot continue to hold items that have no relevance to Larne Museum.”