The National Library of Ireland will soon become an independent body after operating as a government department since being established by the Dublin Science and Art Museum Act of 1877. The Irish Times April 23 reported that Irish Minister of Arts John O’Donoghue named senior counsel Gerry Danaher as the independent library’s first chairman.
The government will retain responsibility for the library and the National Museum, which also is becoming autonomous, but the boards of the institutions will control "policy, promotion, and staffing decisions," the newspaper said. The library collects and preserves materials of Irish interests and also hosts exhibitions. The Genealogical Office, the Office of the Chief Herald, and the National Photographic Archive all fall under the library umbrella.