Archives Services

Irish Architectural Archive

The Irish Architectural Archive is a specialist archives which collects and preserves material of every kind relating to the architecture of the entire island of Ireland, and makes it available to the public.


Collections and Policies:
The collections housed by the Archive range in date from the late seventeenth to the early twenty-first centuries and comprise the largest body of historic architectural records in Ireland. They contain material - primary or secondary - on every notable Irish architect, on Irish buildings of every type, period or style, and on most significant building in the 32 counties of Ireland. The collections are consulted by those interested in architecture in its widest sense and by those interested only in single specific structures. Researchers include design historians, social historians, planners, engineers, architects working on historic structure or seeking inspiration for new buildings, and the general public interested in the history of their own homes, their schools or churches or places of work, their streets, their villages, towns or cities.

Perhaps the most characteristic of the records held by the Archive are the architectural drawings. Some 300,000 drawings are housed in 45 Merrion Square. The drawings collections vary in size from single items to the entire drawings archives of architectural practices, and include drawings in and on every kind of medium used by architects over the past 400 years. The archives of architectural practices often contain more than just drawings, and the Irish Architectural Archive holds business records, account books, letter books and collections of project files. In addition, the Archive houses over 70 architectural models, collections of private or research papers of architects and architectural historians, and the archives of architects' organisations and associated construction industry businesses such as quantity surveying firms and builders.

Photographs are an invaluable source of information on buildings and the Irish Architectural Archive has over 400,000 photographs in its holdings. The Archive maintains an ongoing record photography programme, capturing buildings on film throughout the country, especially those in imminent danger of alteration or demolition. This record photography forms an important core to the photographic collections, and it is complemented by extensive holdings of historic images and important collections of photographs taken by individual architectural photographers and commercial photographic companies. The Archive also holds photographic copies of material in other private and public collections in Ireland and abroad. The vast majority of the Archive's photographs are black and white, although some colour transparencies are held and colour photography is used to record distinctive historic colour schemes.


Address:   45 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Telephone:  +353 (0)1 6633040
Fax: +353 (0)1 6633041
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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