The National Archives of Ireland

The National Archives of Ireland

The National Archives of Ireland is located on Bishop Street in Dublin 8, on the site of the old Jacobs Biscuit Factory.  The Archives hold the historic records for the administration of the State.  These include census returns, wills and testamentary records, prison and court records as well as the archives of government departments.  For the genealogist, much of the vital records for family history research held by the Archives are now available online on their website and at

What You Will Find at the National Archives of Ireland

You may want to visit the National Archives of Ireland to consult the professional genealogists who staff the Genealogy Advisory Service between 10am and 1.30pm each day. You can also access the following records , none of which are currently available online:
  • Surviving wills and administrations
  • Records of the Chief Secretary’s Office (CSORP)
  • Convict files
  • Surviving court papers
  • National School records
  • Transportation registers
  • Some Church of Ireland parish registers

There is a wealth of material in the National Archives of Ireland that can supplement your family history research. Give yourself plenty of time in the Archives to explore their catalogues and familiarise yourself with their holdings.  While there is an online catalogue, this barely represents the entirety of their holdings and is not very user friendly, so some time examining the catalogues in the Reading Room will be well spent.

Opening Hours and Entry Requirements

Photo of National Archives of IrelandThe National Archives of Ireland is open from 9.15am to 5pm Monday to Friday.  In order to visit the reading room you will need to apply for a readers’ ticket.  You can only apply for a readers’ ticket if you can provide one form of photo identification and a second document that identifies your address, such as a utility bill, no more than 6 months old.   Without these two items, you will be refused admission.  There can sometimes be a queue for readers’ tickets, so arrive early or give yourself plenty of time.

Ordering Material

There are limited ordering times for material.  You can order material between 9.15am and 12.15pm and 1.30pm and 4pm.   Material can be ordered using the yellow slips found at the entrance to the Reading Room.  There is no online ordering facility, but you can call the Reading Room in advance to request an item.  Some items are held in the Four Courts, which means that they cannot be produced on the day that they are ordered.  This includes items like wills and administrations, so check with the Reading Room whether you need to order the item in advance of your visit.

Scanning, Photographing and Photocopying

You can photograph manuscripts with permission and you must request a photograph permission form from the main counter in the Reading Room before you start taking photographs.  You can also scan and photocopy material and print images from microfilm, for which you will need a copy card.  Cards can be purchased from a machine in the Microfilm Room for €2 or at the main counter in the Reading Room, make sure you bring the correct change with you.


Your belongings should be left in a locker on the ground floor and you can bring laptops, notebooks and pencils only up to the Reading Room with you.  You can bring your family papers with you as well, but you may be asked to remove them from any large binders or folders.

There is a vending machine and tables and chairs in the locker room on the ground floor where you can have a packed lunch.  There is also a cafe in the neighbouring Dublin Institute of Technology campus where you can get hot drinks and sandwiches.

National Archives of Ireland

Found a manuscript or source in the National Archives that you are unable to access in person?

Our Genealogy Clerk team can look up and copy specific items on your behalf.
Just fill in the form below with your enquiry and press the “Send” button.
Our team will get back to you with a free quote.

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Bishop Street
Dublin 8

Phone Number
+ 353 (0)1 407 2300 / Lo Call: + 353 1890 252424
Fax: + 353 (0)1 407 2333

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Opening Hours