Reading Room Regulations

Direct access to the Archive material is provided only in the Archive’s Reading Room.

Access to the Reading Room is free and open to all, but strictly governed by the following regulations:


General Conditions of Access

 It is the policy of the Archive to make the material in its holdings available to the public for consultation.

However, the Archive has a responsibility to preserve the material in its possession, and reserves absolutely the right to deny or withhold access to any of the material in its holdings, where that material falls in to one or more of the following specific categories

material which is in a damaged or fragile state, and where the process of making the material available is likely to lead to further damage or destabilisation.

material which has not been sufficiently processed, i.e. archivally sorted and listed. To provide access to unsorted material is to place the archival integrity of that material at risk. At a basic level, it is impossible to carry out a security check on material to see that all of it has been returned by a reader, if the archivist does not know in the first place exactly what material was provided.

material which has been placed on restricted access by the donor or lender. Conditions placed on material by donors and lenders and accepted as part of the deposit arrangement by the Archive must take precedents over other considerations.

material acquired as a result of any statutory or other role which may be assigned to the Archive by any public agency in the future, in which cases access may be governed by the legislation or statutory instruments assigning the particular role to the Archive.

material which the Archive staff, at their discretion, feel should be withheld from public access


Opening hours
The reading room is open to the public from 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesdays to Fridays.
Access on Mondays can be facilitated by appointment. E-mail or phone 01 6633040 to make a booking.

Admission to the reading room is strictly at the discretion of the Archive staff, and the Archive reserves the right to refuse admission to the reading room.

All those visiting the Archive’s reading room for the first time must complete a reader registration form and be issued with a reader’s card. Reader’s cards can only be issued to people who are 18 years old or older. Readers should bring their reader’s card with them on all subsequent visits, as the reader number on the card is required to request reserved items from the Archive collections.

Reader’s cards are non-transferable and are not forms of identification. The possession of a reader’s card does not entitle the bearer to entry to the Archive.

Group visits
Visits by groups of 5 or more must be booked at least two days in advance. Bookings can be made by telephone or e-mail (

Signing in
All readers must sign the visitors’ book on each visit to the reading room.

Coats and Bags
Coats and bags must be left in the lockers provided in the basement cloakroom.

Locating material in the Archive
The Irish Architectural Archive’s online catalogue is accessible at the public access terminals in the reading room or via the Archive’s website,

If you have trouble finding material of relevance to your area of interest, please ask the staff member on duty.

Accessing material in the Archive
Archive holdings may be consulted only in the reading room.

To view material held by the Archive, other than material held in the reading room, readers must complete a call slip. Call slips are available in the reading room. Only 5 call slips may be submitted at any one time.

In the case of drawings, mss, reserved-access photographs and some other categories of material, items requested before 1 pm will be available at 2.30 pm. Material requested after 1 pm will be available at 10 am the following morning.

Pamphlets, reserved-access books and press-cuttings files requested on call slips will be made available in the reading room as soon as is practicable, but please note that waiting periods of up to one hour may be experienced.

Material may be requested by e-mail to Up to five items may be ordered at any one time. Include the reference number (available from the online catalogue) and description for each item. A confirmation e-mail will be issued to acknowledge your request. Please wait for receipt of this confirmation before visiting the reading room to access material.

Copying material in the Archive
Members of the public wishing to make copies of material held by the Archive may do so within the parameters of the relevant copyright legislation using personal devices including cameras (digital or analogue), phones or other computer devices with cameras. Photocopying facilities are not available. Scanners or other electronic copying devices which touch the surface of the material being copied are not allowed. Flash photography and the use of tripods are also not allowed. Material being copied must remain on the reading room tables.

No copying will be allowed until the relevant copyright declaration form has been completed and signed, and the relevant fee paid. A revised scale of charges will apply. The fee will be €1 per item copied. An item is defined as:
1 drawing
1 photograph
1 mss file
1 press cuttings file
1 pamphlet
1 journal article
Not more than 20% of a book.

All copying is at the discretion of the staff member on duty. The Archive reserves the right to refuse permission to any individual to copy any material in its collection.

Where an individual does not have a personal copying device available to them, they may use a digital camera available at the reading room desk. Fees applicable will be identical to those which apply for the use of personal devices. Images taken using the Archive’s camera will be emailed within five working days. Please note that Archive staff are NOT PERMITTED to take copies using the Archive’s camera or readers’ own copying devices.

Hi-resolution digital copies of material held by the Archive can be ordered. These are supplied at a resolution of 300dpi in JPEG format. Charges vary depending on the nature and size of the material to be scanned. The relevant scale of fees is available in the reading room. Orders for scans take two weeks to process.

Using material in the Archive
Readers are responsible for all items issued to them until they have returned them to the reading room desk.

Restrictions controlling the use of material will be enforced on conservation and security grounds. Archival documents are irreplaceable and must be treated with respect.

Pencils only may be used in the reading room. Pencils and pencil sharpeners are available at the reading room desk. No glue, ink, correction fluid, scissors, or any substance or equipment which could damage material held in the Archive should be brought by readers into the reading room.

Tracing is strictly prohibited, as is the use of rulers, dividers etc to take measurements. Writing materials must not be placed on any book, manuscript, map, plan or drawing. Readers should not lean on maps, plans or drawings and should take care unrolling rolled items. No archival material should be placed on the floor.

No markers or place-holders should be inserted into books. Unopened or uncut books should be brought to the attention of the staff member on duty.

Readers are requested to keep photographs, documents and drawings in their numbered order. To avoid misplacement of photographs, readers are asked to take only one box file at a time from the shelves and to be careful to replace correctly photographs which have been removed from a box file. Notices detailing the correct order are to be found one the inside lid of each box file.

No smoking is allowed in the reading room or any other part of the Archive.

Food and drink are not allowed in the reading room. Chewing gum is strictly prohibited.

The use of mobile telephones is prohibited in the reading room.

The use of personal stereos or tape recorders  is prohibited in the reading room. Laptop computers may be used and power sockets for same are located in the reading room desks.

Silence should be observed in the reading room. Readers behaving in a manner likely to disturb others will be required to leave.