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Thoms Directory

Find out how the Museum's library manage bibliographic resources such as the Cataloguing Project and the Charles J. Haughey library at Turlough Park House.

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 fulfil 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 National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks. Library collections are also held at each of the Museum’s four sites.

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

  • Country Life

The library also reflects the work of the Museum's other departments:

  • Conservation

  • Education

  • Registration

  • Administration

  • 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.


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 - Decorative Arts & History
Collins Barracks
Benburb Street
Dublin 7

Telephone: +353 (0)1 6486487
Fax: +353 (0)1 6777498


Charles J. Haughey Library

Learn about the collection of books donated to the Museum by the estate of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey

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 - Country Life 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.

Arthur Kingsley Porter Bequest

Learn about the Museum's collection of architectural monographs and pamphlets donated by Lucy Kingsley Porter


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, National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History and also at the Irish Antiquities library, National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology.

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