The role of the Library at the National Museum of Ireland is to collect, manage and make available the bibliographic resources required by the Museum staff to fulfill its function in preserving, interpreting and displaying the material heritage of Ireland. Research services are also provided to external users by appointment only.

The Library is part of the Registration Department and the Librarian is responsible for the management of library collections located on the National Museum of Ireland’s four sites. The main library is located at Collins Barracks and library collections are also held at each of the museum’s divisions.

Scope of the Collection

The collection consists of over 80,000 monographs and bound journals, and the Library currently subscribes to 200 periodical titles. Approximately 3,000 volumes are added to the collection annually, by purchase, donation and exchange. The library collection reflects the work of the curatorial divisions of the Museum: Decorative Arts & History, Natural History, Archaeology and Country Life and its other departments: Conservation, Education, Registration, Administration and Facilities. Other subject holdings include museology, heritage interpretation, ethnography, anthropology and general reference works.

The library also holds a comprehensive collection of exhibition catalogues, Irish auction catalogues and the annual reports of other museums and cultural institutions.

Cataloguing Project

A cataloguing project has been underway on three of the four sites since 2004. The collection is in the process of being catalogued onto the Museum’s library management system (Adlib) in accordance with MARC 21 cataloguing standards; DDC 22 classification standards and Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Special Collections

- Arthur Kingsley Porter Bequest

A collection of over 1,000 monographs and 500 pamphlets from the library of the Harvard architectural historian, Arthur Kingsley Porter (1883-1933), were donated to the National Museum of Ireland by his wife Lucy. The emphasis within this collection is on medieval European architecture and to a lesser extent Irish archaeology. This collection is held at the Main Library, Collins Barracks and also at the Irish Antiquities library, Kildare Street. To-date 800 items have been catalogued.

- Charles J. Haughey Library

The library of the former Taoiseach, Charles J. Haughey, was donated to the National Museum of Ireland in 2008. The collection is housed at the National Museum of Ireland’s Country Life branch at Turlough Park, Castlebar, County Mayo. The collection comprises over 3,800 volumes. The core of the library dates from the twentieth century and covers Irish art, literature and history. It also includes signed copies from poets and artists such as Robert Ballagh, Paul Durcan, Jim Fitzpatrick, Seamus Heaney and Louis Le Brocquy. Cataloguing of the collection will commence in 2010.


The library service's primary role is to support the staff of the National Museum of Ireland in their role in preserving, interpreting and displaying the material heritage of Ireland.


Registration Department
Block 10
National Museum of Ireland
Collins Barracks
Benburb Street
Dublin 7


Telephone: 00353 (0)1 6486487

Fax: 00353 (0)1 6777498

Related Links

National Library of IrelandLinks to external website

Trinity College Library DublinLinks to external website

University College Dublin LibraryLinks to external website

Library Association of IrelandLinks to external website

National Gallery of Ireland – LibraryLinks to external website

Royal Irish Academy - Library and catalogueLinks to external website

Chester Beatty Library – Reading RoomLinks to external website

Copac – National, Academic and Specialist Library CatalogueLinks to external website

Library of CongressLinks to external website

ARLIS - Art Libraries SocietyLinks to external website

Web Design by Arekibo