The National Archives, established on 1 June 1988, took over the functions previously performed by the State Paper Office (1702) and the Public Record Office of Ireland (1867). The former office was established in 1702 as a repository for records relating to the administrations of the various Lords Lieutenant (the English monarch’s representative in Ireland) who until that date, had taken all of their records with them on leaving office. The State Paper Office was situated in Dublin Castle until 1990.
Located in the Four Courts complex, the Public Record Office of Ireland was established under the Public Records (Ireland) Act, 1867 to acquire administrative, court and probate records over twenty years old. During the Civil War, the Four Courts was seized and the repository building destroyed by fire in June 1922, along with most of the records, some dating back to the 13th century.
Following the establishment of the modern Irish state in 1922, the Public Record Office and State Paper Office continued to function until 1986 when the National Archives Act abolished these offices and transferred their functions and holdings to the newly established National Archives. Under this legislation, records of Government Departments and their agencies are transferred to the National Archives when they are thirty years old.
In 1989 the Government assigned premises at Bishop Street in Dublin to the National Archives. The premises of the former State Paper Office in the Record Tower at Dublin Castle were vacated in August 1991 and the headquarters of the National Archives moved from the Four Courts to Bishop Street in September 1992 where we are now located.