The National Library’s holdings make up the most comprehensive collection of Irish documentary material in the world and offer an invaluable insight into Ireland’s history and heritage.

Main Reading Room at the National Library of Ireland Dublin

Genealogical Advisory Service at the National Library

National Library of IrelandOn the first floor of the main building you will find the Genealogical Advisory service and this is one of the best resources for Ireland Reaching Out members.    Here you can access an abundance of archives such as property records, estate papers and maps, newspapersdirectories and heraldic records.  The most popular archive for most of our volunteers and members are the historical Church records which are kept on microfiche at the National Library.  The records are considered the single most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 Census.  Dating from the 1740s to the 1880s, they cover 1,091 parishes throughout Ireland, and consist primarily of baptismal and marriage records. 

In this dedicated research area there are two full time genealogy experts and many of our message board queries are referred to us by them.  Having volunteers in most parishes in Ireland means that when no records are available at the NLI, local knowledge via Ireland Reaching Out can often provide the breakthrough for many ancestry hunters.

Over the years, Ireland Reaching Out staff and volunteers have worked closely with the National Library in promoting family history and solving ancestry questions from abroad.  Our close working relationship ensures that that we are kept up to date with all NLI developments, including the very important news that in May 2015, the NLI will be giving free online access to its entire collection of Catholic Church Records through its own website.  This is an unprecedented break-through in Irish Genealogy and the availability of these registers represent for many the missing link they have been searching for in their family history research.  

For all genealogy and queries about family history resources email

About the National Library of Ireland

The National Library of Ireland was established in 1877 and is located in Kildare Street, close to Trinity College and Government Buildings.  It is in the centre of Dublin and is open, free of charge, to all those who wish to consult the collections for material not otherwise available through the public library service or an academic library. 

The various collections and books can be accessed in the libraries many reading rooms. There is also a copying service and it is possible to get photocopies, photographs, slides, or microfilm of most items in the collections. 




+353 01 6030213




The National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, Ireland