The National Archives is the official place of deposit for government records where members of the public can view original archives. To find out more see What we do.
The Reading Room of the National Archives is open Monday to Friday from 9.15 until 17.00 to members of the public in possession of a valid reader’s ticket.
Documents and microfilms may be ordered by researchers from 9.15-12.15 and 13.30-16.00 daily. Archives ordered by a researcher in person which are held in off-site storage are produced in the reading room on the following working day. Advance orders by email will only be accepted for material held in off-site storage. For information about accessing material held off-site please see Ordering archives in advance.
Readers are advised to check the status of the archives they have ordered by phoning in advance of their visit.
Any other closures will be announced on our website and social media. For further details please see Closures during 2019.
The National Archives is located on Bishop Street in Dublin City centre. See Map us for further details.
Our holdings include files from departments of state, the courts (including wills) and public bodies such as the Central Statistics Office, the Ordnance Survey and the Valuation Office, among others that are included in the schedule to the National Archives Act, 1986. We also hold many private collections, including family and estate papers, solicitors’ collections, hospital collections and business records.
No. The vast majority of archives are not digitised and must be consulted in person in the reading room of the National Archives.
To make the most of your visit, it is recommended you consult the online catalogue and guides to records held in the National Archives to have an idea of what you are looking for and to ensure it is present in our holdings. It is also useful to consult Getting started with archival research.
All researchers must apply for a reader’s ticket on their first visit. Photographic identification, such as a passport or driver’s licence, and proof of your permanent address, such as a recent utility bill, are required.
Existing researchers applying for a renewal of their ticket must also produce photographic identification and proof of address.
The tickets, which are free of charge, are issued for a period of three years and are valid only in the National Archives.
The reader’s ticket must be produced at the front desk on each visit to the National Archives. Researchers who fail to show their reader’s ticket at the front desk will be refused entry.
For further information see Readers’ tickets.
Archives are unique documents and need to be protected. The theft or defacing of archives is a criminal offence under section 18(1) of the National Archives Act, 1986. Any attempt to remove archival material from the reading room will be reported to An Garda Síochána.
No. Children under 16 years of age are not permitted to access the reading room unless prior approval has been given by the Head of Public Services. The reading room is a quiet place of study containing original archival documents and is unsuitable for children. Leaving certificate students may be admitted provided they apply for a reader’s ticket and follow the correct advice on accessing and preserving documents.
There are a small number of PCs available in the reading room for researchers to consult online sources. These are reserved for relevant research only. During busy periods, researchers may be requested to vacate the computer.
Power points have been installed at a number of tables to facilitate the use of laptops by researchers.
While researchers are permitted to bring laptops into the reading room with them, they are requested to leave laptop cases and covers in the lockers provided.
Free wi-fi is provided in the reading room. The access code may be obtained from the Archivist on Duty once a researcher agrees to the terms of the National Archives acceptable usage policy.
Yes. The National Archives provides a copying service to researchers. Staff of the National Archives will copy material on behalf of researchers using specialised scanning equipment. No self-service copying facility is available. For further information see Obtain copies of archives.
Researchers may use a digital camera or similar device to copy material for their private research only. This service is provided free of charge. The National Archives retains the right to withhold permission to make digital copies of archives. Researchers must consult the Archivist on Duty in the reading room prior to commencing photography. For further information see Obtain copies of archives.
Images required for publication must be ordered from the National Archives. All material required for publication must undergo a conservation assessment and a fee for publication rights must be paid. The National Archives uses archival-standard scanning and photography equipment by specialist-trained staff. For further information see Obtain copies of archives.
Copyright is an intellectual property right which protects the owner’s creative skills and labour. Copyright is an intellectual right, therefore, ownership of copyright is separate to the ownership of the physical item. For further information see Obtain copies of archives.