The reference library contains an extensive range of books and periodicals relating to Irish architecture, architects, building and construction, local history, art, archaeology and general reference. Also included are an important collection of rare and early printed architectural treatises and texts, a substantial collection of pamphlets and ephemeral publications, and extensive press cutting files on Irish buildings and architects.

Among the most significant collections in the library holdings is the Alistair and Ann Martha Rowan Collection of Architectural Publications. Because of the direct influence of the archtectural publishing tradition on the built environment and architectural history of Ireland, because of the specific titles in the collection and their physical condition, and because so many of these titles are not to be found in any other Irish institutions or collections, the Rowan Collection should be regarded as preeminent in its class. Its presence in the Irish Architectural Archive constitutes a significant enhancement of the accumulated cultural heritage of Ireland.

The Archive’s library is a reference library only. No material may be borrowed. Restrictions on photocopying reference library material are enforced on copyright and conservation grounds.