The Royal Irish Academy Library

Royal Irish Academy LibraryFounded in 1785, the Royal Irish Academy, is a learned society for the promotion of the sciences, humanities and social sciences, serving the island of Ireland. It consists of an elected body of c. 440 members, representing most disciplines in the sciences and humanities. The Academy publishes journals, monographs and electronic media; it organises conferences, debates and lectures on scientific developments and matters of topical concern, and advises on policy. Projects managed by the Academy include: the Irish Historic Towns Atlas, the Dictionary of Irish Biography, Art & Architecture of Ireland, Documents on Irish Foreign Policy and Foclóir na Nua- Ghaeilge.

The Academy Library is a research library serving members and staff of the Academy as well as the larger community of postgraduates, international scholars and members of the public who register to use the library’s resources. The library holds the largest and most important collection of Irish-language manuscripts in a single repository (approx. 1,400) and major archival collections mainly relating to various aspects of Ireland – Irish history and politics; archaeology and antiquarian studies; archives relating to the Ordnance Survey 6-inch Survey of Ireland (mid-19th century); and family history papers. The scientific collections relate mainly to natural history research in Ireland. The printed collections also focus on Ireland and include the large Haliday pamphlet and tract collections which amount to over 35,000 items. The print resource also includes early scientific works and substantial entomological collections and it is very strong in the field of Celtic studies, etymology of the Celtic languages etc. There are c. 8,000 antiquarian drawings in the collections, as well as a small map collection.

Apart from the enquiry, consultation and reprographic services offered by the Library, we also manage the Irish History Online resource: and facilitate classes, visits and lectures based on our resources. There is always an exhibition on an aspect of the collections on view.

The Library was built up by donation, bequest and purchase; the extensive journal collection was acquired mainly by exchange of publications with sister bodies worldwide. The Library’s current collection policy is at:

Access information is available at: The various catalogues are at: For information on selected manuscripts and special collections go to:

Contact: or phone 353-1-6090620

The RIA Library website

Texts in Catalogue

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