Great Hunger Irish Museum moves to Whitney Avenue

Bridgette Fossel

The An Gorta Mor, the Great Hunger Irish Museum that used to be located in the heart of the Mount Carmel campus will be relocating from the Arnold Bernhard Library to a space across from Ray & Mike’s Dairy & Deli on Whitney Avenue.

“Over time, the collection has grown by leaps and bounds and so now we really feel it’s best for us to have a stand-alone museum that will also make it easier for the general public to see it,” Vice President for Public Affairs Lynn Bushnell said.

[media-credit name=”Katie O” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]The Lender Family Special Collection (the room is dedicated to the Lender family whose generosity and dedication to promote awareness about the Great Hunger made the room possible) is devoted to Ireland’s Great Famine. The museum holds one of the world’s most extensive collections of art and literature honoring the 19th century Irish famine, according to the Quinnipiac An Gorta Mor — the Great Hunger magazine.

While there are more than 700 volumes and other small sculptures, paintings and documents in the Great Hunger Museum, there are several pieces that are significant to the collection, according to the magazine. These special pieces were acquired after the opening of the museum in September 2000 and cannot fit into the boat-shaped room in the front of the library.

The room in the library will continue to host the literature and scholarly works with some other art pieces, Bushnell said. Students, however, have mixed reactions regarding the relocation of the museum.

“The relocation will be counterproductive to the cultural diversity that our school strives to achieve,” junior Rebecca Biagini said. “I feel it’s more beneficial for it to remain on campus.”

Some students who have visited the museum for class purposes are supportive of the new location.

“I think that it will be a good move because people from the area will be able to enjoy the exhibit without having to come onto a campus they are unfamiliar with,” junior Gayle Mould said.