What are archives?

learn 01An introduction to the main types of archives and archives service.

Types of archive

Its important to remember that any document on which records are kept or evidence can be found can be considered archival. You might already be creating or looking after archival material of your own - photographs from childhood, letters from old friends, diaries you have written in and e-mails you have sent. All of these are archives in their own way. They build up a history of your life. Each item records the people you knew, the places you went and the events that affected you most.

Let's take a look at some of the main types of archives you might find:

What is an archives service?

An archives building is the location in which archives are stored in special conditions and where researchers can come to access those archives. The archives service is run from the archives building and is set up by an organisation to preserve archives and make them available to the public.

Types of archives service

Ireland has many different types of archives service including:

  • The National Archives of Ireland, Dublin
  • The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast
  • The Manuscripts Department of the National Library of Ireland
  • The Royal Irish Academy
  • The Chester Beatty Library
  • Local Authority Archives
  • Religious / Church Archives
  • University Archives
  • Business / Corporate Archives
  • Specialist Archives (Irish Architectural Archive, UCD Delargy Centre for Irish Folklore, National Photographic Archive, Irish Traditional Music Archive, National Gallery of Ireland Archives)

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