Accessing Manuscript Material

The Reading Room of the Department of Manuscripts is situated on the second floor of 2-3 Kildare Street (see Opening Hours).

You can order up to 3 items at any of the delivery times listed below, in person in the Manuscript Reading Room, by completing the online order form, or by telephone to 01 6030386 (9.30am to 5pm) and 01 6030309 (5pm to 7.45pm).

Delivery Times

Tuesday - WednesdayThursday - FridaySaturday
2pm, 3pm, 4pm2pm
5pm, 6pm, 7pm3pm, 4pm

Please note that orders for the 9.30am delivery must be placed by the last delivery time on the previous working day. For example, orders for 9.30am on Monday must be placed by 11.30am on the previous Saturday. Orders placed after this time will be made available at 10am. This will ensure the prompt availability of material in the Reading Rooms. You can also reserve items for use on a subsequent day.

About Call Numbers and Extent

Examples of NLI Manuscript call numbers include: "MS 33,911"; "MS L 131"; "G 20" "21 F 115"; "D 15,409";  "GO 223".

Manuscript call numbers may refer to a single volume, a collection of folders or a large number of boxes. While you may place a request for up to 3 items for a delivery slot, it may be necessary to limit the amount of material retrieved per delivery, per reader. This will be determined by the amount of material requested per order, the number of items already issued to you and the overall number of orders received. We will make every effort to fulfil your order request. To ensure that you receive the appropriate material for your research we are happy to assist you with placing your order.


In cases where a surrogate copy of an item in the collections exists the original item will not be issued. There are also situations where original material will not be issued even if there are no surrogates eg in the case of items which are particularly fragile or vulnerable (and are therefore withdrawn for conservation purposes). Information on access to GO Manuscripts is available here.