Accessing Material

The National Library is a closed stack reference library which means that books and other items in our collections can’t be browsed or borrowed and must be ordered for consultation in our reading rooms. We operate fixed delivery times in our Main Reading Room and in the Manuscripts Reading Room, while access to our Prints and Drawing Collections and Photographic Collections is by appointment only.

Accessing Printed Collections and Microfilm

You can order up to 5 items for each delivery time in person in the Main Reading Room, by telephone to 01 6030 213, or by completing the online order form.

You can also reserve items for use on a subsequent day.

Delivery Times

Monday - WednesdayThursday - FridaySaturday
9.30am9.30am9.30am
10am10am10am
12pm12pm11.30am
2pm2pm
4pm3.30pm
6.30pm


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.

Accessing Manuscript Material

You can order up to 5 items for each delivery time in person in the Manuscript Reading Room, by telephone to 01 6030 386, or by completing the online order form.

Delivery Times

Monday - WednesdayThursday - FridaySaturday
9.30am9.30am9.30am
10am10am10am
12pm12pm11.30am
2pm2pm
4pm3.30pm
6.30pm


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.

Accessing Prints and Drawings

Material can be consulted by appointment on Monday and Tuesday, from 9.30am – 12.30pm and from 2pm – 5pm. To make an appointment please contact Honora Faul, Curator, email: hfaul@nli.ie, or tel: 01 6030 225.

Accessing Photographs at the Photographic Archive

Photographs can be consulted by appointment on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 10am – 1pm. Please contact Keith Murphy, email: npaoffice@nli.ie, or tel: 01 6030 373.