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Frequently Asked Questions about the National Archives


Is it free?

Yes, there is no charge for visiting the National Archives – charges are incurred only in the case of purchasing photocopying cards or paying for photocopies of documents.


Do I have to book to visit?

If you bring photographic identification and proof of address, you will be issued with a reader’s ticket that will allow you to use all the facilities without booking. If you are coming as part of a group for a visit or after-hours talk, you will need to contact us in advance.


What are the opening hours and closure dates of the National Archives during 2014?

The Reading Room of the National Archives is open from Monday to Friday, 9.15 till 17.00, to members of the public in possession of a valid reader’s ticket. Documents may be ordered by readers from 9.15-12.15 and 13.30-16.00 daily.


The Reading Room will be closed on the following days during 2015:


1 January: public holiday

17 March: public holiday

3 April: Good Friday

6 April: public holiday

4 May: public holiday

1 June: public holiday

3 August: public holiday

26 October: public holiday

Early-mid December: media preview

24 December (pm) 2014 and 1 January 2016: closure for Christmas 2015 and New Year 2016


Does the National Archives have a carpark?

No parking facilities are available on site and on-street parking in the vicinity of the National Archives is restricted. However, there are commercial multistorey carparks nearby at St Stephen’s Green and Christchurch Place.


Does the National Archives have a restaurant?

While there are vending machines available in the National Archives, we do not have a restaurant – however, there are restaurants, cafés and shops in the vicinity of Bishop Street.


How do I apply for a reader’s ticket?

A reader’s ticket, which is free of charge, may be obtained either by filling out an application form online or on arrival in our reception area. The tickets are issued for periods of up to three years and are not valid in other research institutions.


Readers are requested to bring with them on their first visit, photographic identification and proof of address to facilitate the ticketing procedure. Valid photographic identification includes a passport; driver’s licence; (international) student card; social security card; travel pass and employment ID. Proof of address may include a utility bill and must not be older than six months. Please consult the Proof of identity and address guidelines for the list of documents which are acceptable in order to obtain a reader’s ticket.


Where do I start my research?



To help you learn more about the records we hold, our website provides information about:




Visit the National Archives

If you would like to visit us, our website provides information about:




Does the National Archives carry out research for members of the public?

No, the staff of the National Archives and its Genealogy Service cannot undertake research on behalf of members of the public. However, the Genealogy Service, staffed by professional genealogists, provides a short personal consultation service free of charge to visitors who are researching their family tree. In addition, there are professional researchers listed in the Genealogy section who undertake paid genealogical and historical research. The National Archives does not accept any responsibility for either the work done or the fees charged by the professional researchers.


Can I obtain copies of records?

Subject to the terms of the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000, yes, we can provide copies of documents generally in the form of photocopies, copies from microforms and copies from digital images. Bound volumes, maps or fragile documents cannot be photocopied and alternative methods of copying should be discussed with the Duty Archivist. For further details on ordering, fees and postage etc, please see Obtain copies of archives.


How far back can I trace my Irish ancestors?

The extent to which you can trace your ancestors depends very much on the information already known about the person in question. For further guidance on genealogy, please see Getting started.



Frequently Asked Questions about our website


What can I do on this website?


You can:



Is it free?

Yes, there is no charge for viewing original documents online or conducting searches in our online catalogue.


Can I see documents online?

Other than the documents available to view as images in our Digital resources section, original documents are not available on our website. However, our online catalogue of records can be searched and we also welcome and encourage members of the public to visit us and consult the records themselves in our Reading Room.


Our website provides general information about the work we do, the range of our holdings, the main sources of material available for research and the services we provide to both the Government and the public.