The Michael O'Connor Poster Collection was donated to Limerick City Gallery of Art in 1989. It is made up of approximately 2800 international posters. In the context of the collection, this 2-year MA by research looked at how cultural institutions seek to balance the seemingly contradictory tasks of making donated collections readily available to the public, and effectively preserving them for the future. The MA took the form of a 12,000-word thesis, and an 80-page designed publication visually expanding upon it, now held at Limerick School of Art & Design and Limerick City Gallery of Art.
The book is rare and ephemeral, much like the poster collection. It is perfect-bound and soft-back, with a gallery-white, matte cover. It is therefore easily marked by the reader and the passage of time. In this way it is connotative of the archives that were pored through in researching the project. The book is elegant, flawed and at times somewhat awkward. Through glitches, abstract photography and illustration within a formal framework, it combines classic and modern design elements. Within the book there are several layers of information, which may be read in different ways. In this manner the dense content of the thesis is rendered accessible.