Updated: Dec 26, 2018
On previous trips, the group has started at the National Library, but they are currently closed on Mondays. The group received an orientation to the Library from one of the staff which covered how to use the catalog and how to order material. It is a closed stack repository so you need to order your material using their online system and your reader's ticket. For regular material such as books, you can place your order and receive it within a short time. The delivery times are every hour on the half hour and you can order up to 15 minutes before. In a change from my previous trip, manuscripts must be ordered 24 hours in advance. You can schedule the time to view the manuscript so you can even order it before you arrive. Even if you don’t have a reader’s ticket you can place an order, but you can’t view the material until you have your ticket. I had an item that I had identified through The Sources Database and was able to place the order for viewing on Thursday at 9:30 am. Manuscripts are delivered to a separate reading room about a block away from the main library. On Tuesday and Wednesday the Library is open late. It is also open on Saturday mornings.
There are a couple of places to go to find out about the material in the National Library (and other repositories). One is IrishAncestors, John Grenham’s site. Go to your locality and review the resources in the upper right of the parish page. It will give you the call number for the items that are in the National Library.
Another resource as I mentioned above, is The Sources Database on the National Library home page. This is primarily manuscript material and unless your family was well off, it is probably best to search by location or the name of the landlord. It, too, will give you the call number. Double check because Sources includes material at other repositories such as the National Archives and PRONI.
The Genealogy Advisory Service is located on the mezzanine floor and does not require a reader’s ticket. It is staffed by genealogists from Monday to Friday until 5 pm. It is open in the evenings, but not staffed. There are a number of computers with databases that can be used for free including access to Ancestry and FindMyPast, as well as IrishAncestors, the Irish Newspapers database and the Irish Times. They have a number of reference books as well which are on open shelves. The staff will also provide you with additional ideas for your research.
The research group took advantage of all of the facilities of the National Library and a number, like me, ordered manuscript material for Thursday or Friday.