A museum’s experience of an internship

Giovanni taking a photograph of Daniel O'Connell's coat.

Giovanni taking a photograph of Daniel O'Connell's coat.

The Intern

In September 2022, an Italian student spent a month as an Erasmus programme intern at Clare Museum. Giovanni Dalla Zuanna photographed our large Clare embroidery collection.  Some of his work is already on our website.

Giovanni is a student of Graphic Design and Communication. His studies gave him skills in printing, photography, video editing, marketing and communication. He was grant-aided by his university to engage in work relevant to his studies in Ireland. As it happened, we had a photography project for him: photographing our Clare embroidery artefacts.

The collection and set-up

The embroidery has been part of the collection since 2017 and is an untapped resource for the public benefit, as it is in storage. It comprises about 900 items, including costumes, samples, patterns, designs and threads.

Giovanni was able to use camera and studio equipment we purchased in 2020 with funding from the Heritage Council’s Community Heritage Grant Scheme. Having set up a studio to a professional standard in a room in the museum, he finished the project in four weeks.  Before he left us, he also took some photographs of Daniel O’Connell’s coat and of some framed and glazed artefacts.


Our experience of matching a project with the correct skill set of an intern was one of mutual benefit.  Clare Museum got its difficult collection photographed quickly and to a high standard, while Giovanni had an opportunity to experiment and work with professional camera equipment and a wide variety of subjects.  His experience can be included on his Curriculum Vitae and his work will be available to future employers to see online.

For Clare Museum, digitising the collection allows us to provide public access to our collections in storage on our new website.  It also gives us the opportunity to be more inclusive and to find a new audience, especially as the public do not need to visit the museum to view artefacts.

We were particularly pleased to be able to photograph dresses, night dresses and aprons which are difficult for us to display in the museum exhibition.

You can see some of the results of Giovanni’s work on our website, and the professional standards he reached. He has left us with a digital archive that we will be posting online for some time to come.

We want to wish Giovanni all the best in his future career.