Abbeyleix Heritage Company has recently availed of funding from Laois Partnership (via the Rural Development Programme: LEADER) to undertake a significant upgrade and revamp of the Heritage Centre which now offers state of the art facilities to locals and visitors alike.
IT Upgrade/ Heritage and Visitor Information
Before the redevelopment, the IT infrastructure in Heritage House was very out of date and it was restricting the services they could offer to tourists and members of the public. This has been updated with the installation of a new ethernet and wireless network which links all the new IT equipment. Free Wi-Fi internet access is now available for all users of the centre. Knowledgeable staff in this well-equipped centre are now available to show you around the museum and to answer your queries on tourism and heritage. As well as providing advice on what to do and where to visit in the locality, the staff are also there to help you to trace your past. For example, help is available to interrogate online facilities like the 1901 and 1911 census, the Down Survey and the Ordinance Survey maps of 1840 and 1909. Staff at the center can assist you to trace your ancestors by researching online archives such as The Down Survey of Ireland and the Census records of 1901 and 1911.
Research Room/ Digital Archive Facility
A dedicated Research Room has been developed which allows people to use the reference library in comfort. This is furnished with state of the art software and equipment including a high resolution scanner and copy stand allowing access to digital versions of the in-house collections of historic documents and photographs. The Heritage Centre staff are currently busy using the new equipment to create a digital archive of the various on-site collections so that it can be searched very easily both in the centre and online.
Having a digital collection also means that instead of having to buy or beg donations of historic documents, photographs and memorabilia they can simply borrow them for a few hours or days, and then scan them to the general digital archive allowing them to be easily accessed and helping to preserve them for future generations.
Revamped Meeting Room/ Audio Visual Display Area
The Mulhall Meeting room has also received a thorough overhaul. This room is now comfortably revamped while still retaining its unique character. It is suitable for meetings, conferences, training and many other purposes and is available to hire at reasonable rates. The plan is to utilise this room as an Audio Visual facility during the tourist season when it will display themed material from the ever expanding digital archive. Two additional digital displays have also been set up in the museum. These add a novel aspect to the museum as they create more exciting and versatile display options.
The Heritage Centre also boasts a beautiful wooden playground on the wider site. It includes a toddler area with sand pit, multi-play area and basket swings. The area for older children includes a climbing frame, zip line, swings, slide and carousel. Picnic benches are also available in the playground. This facility was developed in 2006 – again with support from Laois Partnership (then Laois LEADER).
To find out more visit the website at: http://www.abbeyleixheritage.com/
or contact directly:
Abbeyleix Heritage Company.
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