Current Access to Irish Libraries and Archives

Current Access to Irish Libraries and Archives

Between June and September 2020 a number of Irish archives, libraries and repositories were reopened to the public, but with limited access.  ** However, since the middle of September, these repositories have been closed again and no date has been set for them to reopen. 

The following is a list of the major repositories for Irish genealogical research based in Dublin and Belfast.  Details of new opening hours and the proceedure for booking appointments has been set out below.

National Archives of Ireland

The National Archives of Ireland Reading Room is open to readers by appointment, which can be booked on their website.  The archivists on duty have requested that you submit a list of the documents you wish to consult in advance of your visit, so that they can be ready on arrival, but this is not a necessary part of your booking and material can be ordered on arrival, however, it may take time to be produced.

Appointments are for the full day, although the reading room must be vacated between 12.30 and 2pm for cleaning. There are lockers available, but the table and chairs for the lunchroom have been put beyond access. Only one person can travel in the lift to the reading room on the 5th floor. Visitors are requested to wear a mask while in the library.  Details of the safety proceedures in place can be found on their website.

The Free Genealogy Advisory Service at the National Archives of Ireland, staffed by members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland has now gone online and is open to anyone interested interested in their Irish family history.  For details of how to submit a query visit the website.

National Library of Ireland

The National Library of Ireland Main Reading Room and Manuscripts Reading Room are both open to readers by appointment. The main reading room can accommodate 14 readers (where it could previously accomodate 75). The manuscript reading room can accommodate a much smaller number. It is possible, when on site, to access material on the open shelves. Material that has been consulted will be quarantined for 72 hours after it has been handled by the reader. It is necessary to order the material you wish to access at the time of booking your appointment. You can find details for booking appointments on the NLI website.

Appointments are for the full day. Lockers are available and there are sanitizing stations throughout the building as well as a one way system for entering and departing the main reading room. Visitors are requested to wear a mask while in the library.

General Register Office

The General Register Office Public Research Room on Werbugh Street has reopened to the public by appointment only. Customers will be facilitated while ensuring physical distancing and a safe environment for customers and staff. To request an appointment e-mail [email protected] and you will be contacted by a member of staff who will help you to arrange an appointment.

Appointments are for a half day only: 9.30am-12pm or 2pm-4.30pm. Visitors are requested to wear a mask while in the research room.

It is also possible to order digital copies of records from this office, with the relevant reference details. The orders can be made via the email address: The e-mail address is [email protected].

Valuation Office

The Valuation Office is currently closed but there are plans in motion to reopen the public office in late summer or early autumn, but this has not been confirmed. It is possible to place orders with the VO for digital copies of the Revision Books for counties that have already been digitised. You can find contact details on their website

Registry of Deeds

The Registry of Deeds has reopend on a limited basis and by appointment only. Appointments are for morning and afternoon slots: 10am-12.30pm or 2pm-4.30pm. Material for consultation must be requested in advance. Full details for making an appointment and what material is available for researchers can be found on their website

Dublin City Library and Archive (DCLA)

The DCLA on Pearse Street is currently closed to the public but is open for telephone and email queries between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday:
Telephone: +353 1 6744999
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Representative Church Body Library

The RCBL is currently closed and there are no notifications about their plans to reopen. However, you can still contact the office with queries by email. Contact details can be found on their website

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI)

PRONI has reopened to the public and access is available by appointment only. Appointments can be made via their website and new appointments will be released every Monday morning.  Appointments will always be at least two weeks in advance of booking.  Material for consultation must also be ordered no less than two weeks in advance of your appointment. Appointments will only be granted to researchers who hold a current PRONI Visitor card.

General Register Office of Northern Ireland (GRONI)

The GRO NI research room is currently closed to the public and there are no notifications of when they are likely to reopen. There are some records available online (births 1864-1919, marriages 1845-1944 and deaths 1864-1969).  Researchers who can access PRONI by appointment may also be able to search the GRONI computer terminals housed in PRONI for records that fall beyond what is available online.