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Archives held in the National Archives


The National Archives holds the records of the modern Irish State which document its historical evolution and the creation of our national identity. These documents have enormous research potential as they provide essential primary source material for people seeking to understand the political, economic and social forces which have shaped our nation.


Almost all the records acquired by the Public Record Office of Ireland before 1922 were destroyed by fire and explosion at the beginning of the Civil War in June 1922 and as a result, the material now held by the National Archives dates mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries, although there are a few surviving court and exchequer rolls dating to the early 14th century.



Summary of our holdings


  • Archives of Government Departments relating mainly to the period 1922–1984;
  • Archives of the Chief Secretary’s Office and its associated offices for the period 1790–1922;
  • Archives of other governmental agencies operating mainly in the 19th and 20th centuries, but including some archives from the 17th and 18th centuries;
  • Archives of the courts and probate registries dating mainly from the late 19th and 20th centuries, but including some items dating from the 14th century;
  • Archives acquired from other sources, including Church of Ireland parishes, harbour boards, health boards, hospitals, schools, charities, trade unions, business firms, solicitors’ offices, estate offices and private individuals, relating especially to the 19th and 20th centuries, but including material for the 17th and 18th centuries;
  • Transcripts, calendars, abstracts and indexes relating to original records dating from the 13th to the 19th century which were destroyed in 1922.



Frequently consulted collections