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.

  • Opening Hours
  • What do I need for admission?
  • How do I make an appointment?
  • Reading Room Rules & Procedures
  • 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

Our Reading Room is open


The Reading Room is closed for lunch, 13.00–14.00

University Closures 2023

17 March 
7 April
10 April    
1 May 
5 June 
7 August
30 October

All readers must have a current reader's card and must make an appointment to consult material in the reading room. 

You may register using this form. Registration is valid for one calendar year and must be renewed annually.

In order to complete the online registration form, you must read and agree to abide by our reading room rules and procedures.

You may contact UCD Archives in the following ways:

By email: archives@ucd.ie

By telephone: +353-1-716 7555

General Rules

1. Readers should note that the conditions under which certain collections are deposited require application to the owners or trustees of these collections before access can be granted. Readers are strongly recommended to contact UCD Archives in advance to avoid delays caused by such application.

2. An appointment is essential. All readers must complete a simple online registration procedure before being given access to the reading room. This includes a declaration that the researcher’s conduct will conform with our Reading Room Rules, the UCD Covid-19 Reading Room Procedures, and that the researcher understands their obligations under the GDPR and the Data Projection Act 2018. Researchers will be issued with their reader’s card on their initial visit to UCD Archives.

3. Readers should note that while the COVID-19 pandemic continues, their contact information may be used to facilitate contact tracing, should the need arise.

4. No outdoor coats, umbrellas, hats, folders, envelopes, cases or bags, including carrying cases for laptop computers, may be brought into the reading room. These must be left in the lockers provided. Mobile phones must be turned off.

5. Readers must not bring into the reading room anything liable to cause damage to archives. This includes food and drink; sweets or chewing gum; newspapers; sharp instruments; erasers; and correcting fluid.

6. Smoking is prohibited in all areas of UCD Archives.

7. A reader leaving UCD Archives for any purpose and for any length of time must ensure that the main door is securely shut.

Reading Room Rules

1. When handling original archives, readers must be aware that these are unique, fragile and must be treated with respect.

* Ensure that your hands are clean.

* Do not lick or moisten you fingers before turning pages.

* Do not lean on or place anything on archives. Do not rest your device, notebook, paper or cards on archives while taking notes.

* Do not mark, crease or fold archives.

* Do not disorder or rearrange loose documents or remove tags or fasteners from files.

* Do not place clothing on the reading tables.

* Book supports must be used when directed by the duty archivist.

2. Pencils only may be used in the reading room. No pen of any kind may be used for any purpose. No pen should be produced or left on a table. Pencils are supplied in the reading room.

3. Laptop computers and tablets may be used in the reading room. There is a power supply to each desk.

4. Personal photography is allowed in the reading room, under certain conditions. Please discuss with the duty archivist. Digital copies may be supplied by UCD Archives. The duty archivist will explain the procedures and charges involved. All copying whether carried out in the reading room or supplied by UCD Archives, is carried out on the understanding that reader agrees to abide by their obligations under copyright legislation.

5. Readers are responsible for the archives issued to them. Archives must not be handed by one reader to another.

Production of Archives for Consultation

1. Document requests may be made in the reading room, or in advance via email or over the telephone.

2. The majority of collections are routinely produced in surrogate form (microfilm or digital scans) as a major component of UCD Archives’ preservation management strategy.

3. Requests for original material must be received by 12.00. Original material requested before 12.00 will be produced on the day. Requests received after 12.00 will be produced on a reader's next visit.

4. A reader will not be issued with more original documents at any one time than is considered appropriate by the duty archivist.

5. Readers may indicate that they wish archives to be held out for further consultation. Archives in original format will not be held out indefinitely and once returned to storage will have to be requested again.

Where permission to consult archives is granted, it is subject to compliance with these rules.

Any infringement may result in permission being withdrawn.

It is the policy of UCD to prosecute anyone damaging or stealing archives.

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.

If possible, we advise users to request the items you wish to consult in advance of your visit. If that is not possible, surrogate material will be produced without delay. Requests for original material must be received by 12.00. Original material requested before 12.00 will be produced on the day. Requests received after 12.00 will be produced on a reader's next visit.

The handling of original documents is subject to the specific guidelines outlined in our Reading Room Rules and Procedures, listed on our Planning Your Visit page.

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.

Pencils are supplied if required. Please bring your own notepaper.


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.

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

Data Protection

Researchers have a responsibility under the Data Protection legislation (GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018) to ensure that the personal data contained in any archives to which they are being granted access, is used solely for the purpose of historical research. It is not permitted to process personal data for any other purpose, especially any purpose which could affect the rights and freedoms of individuals’ (data subjects) whose personal data are contained in the Archives and which could cause damage or distress to the data subjects.

The GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 require that the results of a researcher's work, or any resulting statistics published or used, are not made available in a form that directly or indirectly allows identification of any living individual featured in the data. The personal data to which researchers gain access will not be disclosed to any other person. 

Researchers undertake to keep the personal data secure and to protect it from unauthorized disclosure to any party, any copies of material, or any notes taken during their research in UCD Archives, which contain personal data. Researchers undertake to keep the personal data only for as long as necessary under the terms of their research and to securely delete or shred the material once this period has elapsed.

More information on how to process personal data in line with data protection requirements can be found online at www.ucd.ie/gdpr/.

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.

Copying charges

Low resolution PDF: €1 per image

400dpi Jpeg or Tiff: €10 per image

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.

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 six weeks' lead-time be given to any digital imaging request).