Plan your visit
The National Archives is the official place of deposit for government records where members of the public can view original archives.
What are the Opening Hours?
- Due to the recent public health issues the National Archives has had to adapt its service. Currently the reading room of the National Archives is open Monday to Friday from 10.00 am until 5:00pm with a closure for lunch 1-2pm when the reader is expected to vacate the reading room. The National Archives is closed to the public at weekends and on public holidays. Any other closures will be announced on our website and social media.
Where is the National Archives located?
- The National Archives is located on Bishop Street in Dublin City centre. It is located close to St Patrick’s Cathedral and Grafton Street. For further details please see Contact us.
What will I find there?
- 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.
Are all archives available online?
- The vast majority of archives are not digitised and must be consulted in person in the reading room of the National Archives.
What do I need to do before I visit?
- 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.
What do I need to bring with me when I visit?
- 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. We will accept a combined document such as a driver’s licence with a photograph and current address. A reader’s ticket will last for 3 years and must be produced on each visit. Further information is available in Readers’ tickets.
I have never been to an archive before, will someone help me?
- An archivist is on duty each day in the reading room to provide advice and guidance to researchers about our collections. The archivist will not undertake research on your behalf but can point you in the right direction. We also provide a free professional genealogy advisory service for researchers engaged in family history.
What services do we provide?
The National Archives provides a public reading room for researchers to consult original material or archives held on microfilm. A reader’s ticket is required to access this service.
A Duty Archivist is available each day to provide advice to researchers and answer questions on our holdings. A reader’s ticket is required to access this service.
Free genealogy advisory service
The National Archives provides a free genealogy advisory service Monday to Friday from 10.00 until 17:00 for members of the public with questions relating to family history. At present this service can be accessed in-person and via email. See here for further details on how to submit a query. The service is staffed by professional genealogists and operates on a first-come, first-served basis.
Copy order service
The National Archives provides a copy order service to members of the public who require certified copies for legal purposes or those who require plain copies for information and are not in a position to travel to Dublin to consult the original material. For a list of charges, please consult the Summary of fees for the main charges and the National Archives (Fees) Regulations, 2012 for the full list.
Researchers wishing to consult archives held off-site only may order the material in advance, this service applies to researchers with a reader’s ticket only. Advance orders will only be accepted if received 3 working days in advance of the visit, and where the correct reference code is known. The onus is on the requesting party to provide this information. Orders will not be accepted by phone.
Advance orders should be sent to [email protected].
The National Archives, as part of its outreach and education programme, strives to provide tours of our facilities to interested parties and talks on the work of the National Archives. Requests must be made in writing to [email protected] outlining the group involved and the reason for the visit. While we endeavour to facilitate as many requests as possible, these visits are subject to the availability of staff. The National Archives is not in a position to facilitate visits by primary and secondary school groups.
- Staff also regularly visit groups and organisations to provide talks and lectures on a range of topics relating to specific collections or the overall work of the National Archives.
- The National Archives is not in a position to facilitate requests for individual tutorial groups.
What services we do not provide.
Do you undertake research on behalf of individuals?
No. The National Archives does not provide a research service. Any engagement of a professional researcher is a private undertaking and the National Archives can accept no responsibility for the quality of any work carried out. No special treatment or access will be given to professional researchers. They will be subject to the same rules and regulations as all members of the general public.
Accessibility in our building
Bishop Street building
The National Archives building in Bishop Street is fully accessible to readers and members of the public with reduced mobility. The lift in the entrance hall can be used to gain access to the main ground floor level (reception, locker room and toilets). The main building lift gives access to the reading room and associated facilities, including the Duty Archivist’s office, Genealogy Service and toilets.
Visitors should note the reading room is located on the 5th floor and is accessible by lift or stairs only.
Evacuation in an emergency
‘Evac+Chairs’ are available for use in the event of an emergency evacuation of the reading room and associated facilities.
Readers with reduced mobility are required to make contact with the Duty Archivist on each visit to ensure the National Archives is aware of their requirements.