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National Library of Ireland

The National Library of Ireland is a national cultural institution charged with collecting for and on behalf of the state. Its foundation collections were composed of a substantial portion of the library of the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) and library of Jaspar Robert Joly, which were transferred from the RDS to the National Library following its establishment in 1877. The National Library reports to the Oireachtas through the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism and is managed by a Board appointed by the Minister of the Department.


Reading Room Opening Hours:
Main Reading Room: Mon-Wed: 9.30am-9pm; Thurs-Fri: 9.30am-5pm; Sat: 9.30am-1pm; Manuscripts Reading Room: Mon-Wed: 9.30am-8.30pm; Thurs-Fri: 9.30am-4.30pm; Sat: 9.30am-12.30pm


National Photographic Archive Reading Room: Mon-Fri: 10am-5pm


The National Library of Ireland collects, preserves and makes accessible the documentary and intellectual record of the life of Ireland and contributes to the provision of access to the larger universe of recorded knowledge. The Library's holdings of an estimated eight million items span almost a thousand years of Irish history. The Library also has a genealogy advisory service which provides an introduction to family history research and relevant resources held by the Library.

The Manuscripts Department holds unique and unrivalled collections relating to all aspects of Irish civilisation. Access to manuscript material is available in the Manuscript Reading Room in 2-3 Kildare Street. The Department also provides a reference service in person or by correspondence.


Access to collections is provided via the Library website and through the Main Library and Manuscript reading rooms in Kildare Street and a third reading room in the National Photographic Archive (in Temple Bar, Dublin) which houses the photographic collections of the National Library. Readers are required to apply in person for readers' tickets and the library is open to all those with genuine research needs. Access to the Prints and Drawings Department is by appointment with the curator.


Finding aids:
The Library's online catalogue, searchable lists for manuscript collections and research guides are available on the website at:


Address: Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: 01 6030200
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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