Manuscripts Reading Room

The Manuscripts Reading Room is located on the 2nd floor of 2/3 Kildare Street,  and should you intend consulting the Library’s collection of manuscript material you will need to visit this room.  You will also require a Reader's Ticket to access the Manuscripts collection. The Archivist on duty and the Library Assistant on duty in the Reading Room will assist you in searching for information.

Manuscripts and rare books must  be ordered at least 24 hours in advance.

The Manuscripts Reading Room provides seating for 24 readers. All desks have facilities for laptop computer use and book cradles are available for readers consulting fragile volumes. There are also two microfiche readers available.

While the manuscript material is held in closed stacks, a range of reference works and manuscripts special lists are available for consultation in the reading room.

Note: 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even if there are no surrogates eg in the case of items which are particularly fragile or vulnerable (and are therefore withdrawn for conservation purposes).

For security and preservation reasons a collection of James Joyce manuscripts, notebooks and workbooks acquired by the National Library of Ireland in 2002 is available for readers to view on computer in the Manuscripts Reading Room. These papers consist of early James Joyce work, notes and drafts for Ulysses as well as proofs and additions to proofs for Finnegans Wake.

Services provided in the Manuscripts Reading Room include:

  • Reference assistance
  • Online access to the Library’s catalogues and databases
  • Access to the manuscripts special lists
  • Self Service copying facility
  • A collection of open access reference works
  • Online resources