UCD Archives is on the main UCD campus at Belfield, Dublin 4. A confirmed appointment is necessary. Please read our COVID-19 Reading Room principles and procedures below in advance of contacting us to make an appointment.

UCD can be reached by car or by public transport, taking the 39A or 46A bus from the city centre. The 39A terminus is on campus and the 46A stop is located across the Stillorgan Road, in front of the Montrose Student Residence (formerly the Montrose Hotel). Information on travelling to the campus is available on the university website.

Due to the heavy demand on parking facilities on the Belfield campus, visitors are strongly recommended to use public transport. Visitors travelling by car may be asked by university security personnel to state the purpose of their visit before being given access to parking facilities. Pay and display parking facilities are available but are often full. UCD Services Map.

UCD Archives is located in the James Joyce Library and can be reached by taking the signposted pedestrian walkway between the library and agricultural buildings. We cannot be reached through the main library entrance. You can find us on Google Maps here.

In preparation for your visit our descriptive catalogues are available for you to consult online. When on a specific collection's web page, click on the 'Conditions of Access and Use' tab and there you will find the 'Descriptive Catalogue'. Click on it and a searchable PDF will open in a new window. If not highlighted, please let us know.

  • COVID-19 Reading Room Protocols: Access Principles
  • COVID-19 Reading Room Protocols: Access Procedures
  • What do I need for admission?
  • How do I make an appointment?
  • Opening Hours
  • What information is available on collections?
  • What restrictions affect access to collections?
  • Requesting and handling documents
  • What can I take into the Research Room?
  • Copyright and Data Protection
  • Provision and requesting of copies

During the pandemic, all users of archives in UCDA agree to the following principles:

1. Masks/face-coverings must be worn in the reading room.

2. Wash your hands frequently, following HSE guidelines.

3. Follow HSE guidelines on respiratory (coughing and sneezing) etiquette.

4. One toilet in UCDA is reserved solely for use by UCDA staff. One toilet is reserved solely for use by users of UCDA Reading Room.

5. You must register online and request material in advance. Please ensure that we receive the references for the material you wish to view by 12.00pm on the Thursday prior to your visit. 

6. Keep a distance of two metres between you, other readers and UCDA staff.

7. Use the hand sanitiser supplied, especially if you touch your face or mask.

8. Wipe down your desk at the start and end of your slot and dispose of the wipes in the bin provided.

Our Reading Room is open three days a week, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The Reading Room will re-open five days a week from 4 October 2021.

1. Access to the Reading Room is by appointment only. Please email archives@ucd.ie or telephone (01) 716 7555 to request an appointment.

2. Appointments are available in timed slots as follows: 10.00–12.30, 13.30–1600. A maximum of five readers is allowed in the Reading Room at any one time. We will resume full capacity from 25 October.

3. The Reading Room will close from 12.30-13.30.

4. You must register online if you are a new reader or are renewing your registration. Please do not register unless you have a confirmed appointment. You will be issued with a reader's card on your first visit, which is valid for a calendar year.

6. You will be emailed the 'UCDA COVID-19 Reading Room Procedures' in addition to the 'UCDA Rules for Researchers'. You must declare by return email that you have read and understood both documents, and agree to abide by the procedures outlined. Your appointment will then be confirmed.

7. Your confirmation email will confirm your appointment slot(s).

8. You may request multiple slots, including consecutive slots, over multiple days.

9. You may book additional slots while in the Reading Room, and request that material you are consulting be kept out for you.

10. You must wear a mask/face covering in the Reading Room, and observe good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. It will be considered a serious breach of conduct if the above is not adhered to. You will be asked to leave UCDA and may be prohibited from returning. Masks/face coverings will not be provided by UCDA. Access to the Reading Room will not be granted unless you are wearing one.

11. UCDA staff in the Reading Room will also wear a mask/face covering.

12. You must identify in advance any material that you wish to consult either by using the online finding aids or by discussing your requirements with the duty archivist. The requested material, both microfilm and original, will be waiting for you on your arrival. Requests for material in original formats must be received at least 24hrs in advance of your visit.

13. The Reading Room will be kept ventilated when in use. As this means opening the windows and doors, you are advised to wear appropriate clothing. Coats are not allowed in the Reading Room.

All researchers must make an appointment. If you are a new reader or are renewing your registration, please do not register until you have a confirmed appointment.

A reader's number will be emailed to you on registration. Registration is valid until the end of the calendar year and must be renewed annually.

You may register using this form.

You may contact UCD Archives in the following ways:

By email: archives@ucd.ie

By telephone: +353-1-716 7555

During the pandemic our Reading Room will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, in two time slots, as follows:

10.00–12.30, 13.30–1600.

The Reading Room will close from 12.30-13.30.

The Collections pages provide access to information on the three categories of collections in UCD Archives: Deposited Collections; University Archives; and Franciscan manuscripts.

The Deposited Collections and University Archives pages give general descriptions of the content of individual collections as well as specific detail on collection reference codes, size and covering dates of collections; and information on access including restrictions on access to individual collections. Finding-aids may be consulted online.

The Franciscan MSS pages give a synopsis of the development of the collection; the basis of its transfer to UCD Archives; and some sample images. The digitisation of the manuscripts began in Autumn 2003 in conjunction with the ISOS project. Images from a large number of the manuscripts are available on the ISOS website and UCD Digital Library.

Collections are made available for research only when they have been fully processed and an appropriate finding aid, usually a descriptive catalogue, constructed.

Both Deposited Collections and University Archives are subject to a thirty year rule.

Deposited Collections may be subject to additional restrictions or access requirements. In particular, application to the owners or trustees of certain collections is necessary before access can be granted.

Access to collections or parts of collections may be withdrawn from time to time as material is removed for conservation or preservation reformatting.

Further information on access to individual collections can be found in the Deposited Collections section of this website. Click on the link for an individual collection and scroll to the end for specific information on access to that collection. The absence of a named collection from the website may be taken as a reliable indication that it is not available for research, usually because it has not been processed.

As part of UCD Archives' collection management strategy, material is routinely reformatted and made available for consultation in surrogate form, on microfilm or in digital format. The access section at the end of each collection description on the Deposited Collections pages indicates whether that collection is produced in microform.

Where a surrogate is not available, originals will be produced depending on their condition. 

All items for consultation must be requested in advance of your visit. Please ensure that we receive the references for the material you wish to view by 12.00pm on the Thursday prior to your visit.

Additional items in surrogate form may be requested during your visit, however, items in original form will require 24 hours notice.

The handling of original documents is subject to the specific guidelines included in Rules for Researchers a copy of which researchers will be emailed prior to registration.

Pencils, notepaper, laptop computers and tablets are allowed in the Reading Room. The use of pens of any kind is prohibited, as is the use of all photographic, photocopying or scanning equipment and voice recorders. Further information is available in the leaflet Rules for Researchers. Lockers are provided for the deposit of cases and bags. The use of mobile phones in the reading room is prohibited. They should be powered off and placed in a locker.

Please note that for the duration of the pandemic, readers must supply their own pencils and notepaper.

Please also note, that for the duration of the pandemic, readers must wear a mask/face covering while working in the Reading Room.


Archives are copyright and are subject to the restrictions on reproduction and publication included in the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000.

A single copy of a document may be provided under Section 67 of the Act provided that a researcher requesting a copy of a document signs a declaration that the copy is for the purposes of research or private study only and that it will not be used for any other purpose. The signed declaration is a requirement under Statutory Instrument 427 of 2000.

University College Dublin does not, in many instances, own or administer the copyright in collections deposited in UCD Archives; and cannot therefore give permission for quotation from or publication of documents from those collections. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure the permission of the copyright owner and comply with copyright law in all other respects.

It is UCD Archives’ view that the requirements of copyright law and its own obligations to its depositors do not permit the use of digital cameras in the Reading Room.

UCD Archives may be able to offer guidance on the ownership of copyright in certain collections.

Data Protection

Under the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, researchers have a responsibility to ensure that the personal data contained in any archives to which they are granted access, is used solely for the purpose of historical research and not for any purpose which could cause damage or distress to the subjects of the data.

Researchers should also be aware that the Acts require that the results of their research, or any resulting statistics published or used, are not made available in a form that identifies any living individual featured in the data. The personal data to which researchers gain access must not be disclosed to any other individual. Researchers undertake to protect from unauthorised disclosure to any party, any copies of material, or any notes taken during their research in UCD Archives, which contain personal data.

Provision of Copies

The terms under which certain collections are deposited prohibit the provision to researchers of copies of any documents in those collections. Where no such prohibition exists, UCD Archives can provide low resolution PDFs and high resolution digital images of items in our collections.

PDF copies and other digital images will be provided if a digital surrogate exists or if the item is in good condition, suitable for digitisation, and is no larger than A3 in size.

Charges are waived for the remainder of the pandemic.

As our Reading Room is now open, we ask researchers based in Ireland to make an appointment and work here if possible. We have a backlog of copying requests and this will help us catch up and to focus on other work.

***We are suspending our copying service for August while staff are on leave, and to catch up on our current digitisation requests. The service will resume in September.***




Requesting copies as required by Statutory Instrument 427 of 2000, made pursuant to the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 charges include a contribution to the general expenses of UCD Archives. Please note that payment can be only be accepted online: www.ucd.ie/archives/payments.

All requests for copies and photographs must be made on a UCD Archives copy request form. More than one item may be requested on the same form. The form includes a declaration that the copies will be used for research and private study only.

All copy request forms must indicate the number of pages to be copied. All requests for copies must be accompanied by payment. It will not be possible to process any requests for copies until payment has been received.

Requests for copies must include specific page references or descriptions unless a request is being made for a copy of a complete item in which case the collection code and item number will be sufficient. Failure to identify items exactly may result in delay or the material not being copied.

We are experiencing a high volume of copying requests at the moment. We will do our best to expedite copying requests and are grateful for your patience.

Commercial copies 

Requests for digital copies of photographs and documents for use in exhibitions, publications (online and in print) and documentaries are also subject to copyright and data protection legislation and require additional documentation. All such requests should be made to the Principal Archivist well in advance of any deadlines (we recommend that a minimum of four weeks' lead-time be given to any digital imaging request).