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 Genealogy website and at Findmypast.ie.
** The National Archives of Ireland is currently closed and there is no date set for reopening. Queries for the Archivists and Genealogy Advisory Service can be emailed to [email protected]
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 5pm each day. During the Pandemic, the advisory service will be available online. You can also access the following records in the archives. Some of these records are partially available online, others are not available online at all:
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 the Archives’s holdings, so some time examining the catalogues in the Reading Room will be well spent.
If you are looking to dig a little deeper into a specific area of Irish history, there are a number of very useful research guides and guides to sources available on the National Archives website, which include guides to hospital records, business records, archives of the Poor Law, transportation records, the Chief Secretary’s Office Registered Papers and the archives of the Valuation Office and much more.
- Surviving wills and administrations. Surviving will registers from 1858 to 1900 are available online
- Records of the Chief Secretary’s Office (CSORP). Partly available online from 1818 to 1830
- Convict files
- Surviving court papers. Petty Session Court registers are available at www.findmypast.ie
- National School records
- Transportation registers. The Ireland Australia Transportation Database is available online, but the supporting documentation is not.
- Some Church of Ireland parish registers
Opening Hours and Entry Requirements
The National Archives of Ireland is open from 10am 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.
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 archivist on duty 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.