Cape Clear Museum was established in 1981 as a voluntary organisation to:
- Source, collect and preserve records concerning all aspects of Cape Clear island life.
- Organise the collection of artefacts of folk, farm and maritime life and see to their exhibition and preservation.
- Develop an Exhibition Centre and Heritage Archive to house both artefacts and documentation of island interest.
With the help of the island community, and Irish State Agencies an old schoolhouse building was restored and now holds a large collection of exhibition material and documentation relating to island life and history.
There are to date, over 100 framed exhibition panels in the museum collection which deal with fourteen different themes of island heritage. Each theme may have around six to fourteen exhibition panels, however, only a few of these may be exhibited at any one time. Interpretative exhibition panels cover island settlement patterns, folk and farm life, genealogy, folklore, placenames, education, telegraph and maritime history. Archaeological, geological, botanical, ornithological and genealogical surveys of the island have been undertaken and data relating to these aspects is either on exhibition or housed in the Island Archive.
Among international events organised by the Museum have been:
The Naomh Ciarán-St Piran Millennium Jubilee Pilgrimage from Cornwall to Cape Clear and Seir Kieran, Co. Offaly (2000); Click for details. The Famine of 1847 & 1863; Click. The 1979 Fastnet Race 25th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony (2004); The 25th Anniversary of the O Driscoll Clan Gathering-Heritage Exhibition (2011); Click.
Anniversary Exhibitions include: The 100th Anniversary of the Baltimore Fishery (1987); 75th Anniversary of the loss of the Thomas Joseph (1993); Cape Clear & World War 11 (1995); The 100th Anniversary of the 1894 Loss of the Florence (1994); The 100th Anniversary of Cape Clear Primary School at South Harbour; The 150th Anniversary of the building of the First Lighthouse at Fastnet Rock (2004). Click.