Collection Building

The Irish Architectural Archive was established in 1976 to collect material relating to Irish architecture, preserve that material and make it available to the public. The gathering together of the archival record of Ireland’s architecture – by gift, loan or purchase – remains at the heart of the Archive’s activities. This exhibition provides a flavour of the fruits of this collecting endeavour.

Representative items have been selected from the material acquired during each year that the Archive had been in existence. These items are presented chronologically by year of accession. The Archive’s registers record in excess of 3,500 individual accessions to date. These range from single items – a book, pamphlet, drawing or photograph – to the thousands of drawings and files created by large architectural practices. The Archive supplements the material it acquires from external sources through a comprehensive photographic record programme of its own. As a cumulative body of material, the holdings of the Archive represent the single greatest source of information on Ireland’s buildings and on those who designed them.

The material on show here clearly presents just one possible cross section of the Archive’s holdings, a single core sample drilled through the layers of material accumulated year by year since 1976. Nonetheless, it is a sample provides a real insight into variety, depth and quality of the Archive’s collections as a whole.