The Archive Unit

The Archive Unit is a section within the National Monuments Service, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and consists of an extensive body of material relating to the archaeological heritage of the State.

The main collections consist of the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP) files comprising reports on some 136,800 archaeological sites within the State; c.25,000 excavation reports on the results of licensed and unlicensed excavations; a Carved Stone Inventory collection; underwater survey volumes, including the Shipwreck Inventory and Ports, Piers and Harbours volumes; and an extensive photographic collection of some 550,000 images of monuments. The Archive Unit is also in the process of providing storage for the transfer of paper archives from excavations carried out under licence.

Reading Room

The public reading room is now located in the Custom House, Dublin 1. There are spaces available for 10 researchers at any one time. 

Notice of temporary closure of Reading Room and changes to service:

In compliance with Government measures in response to COVID-19, the Reading Room of the National Monuments Service will be closed provisionally until further notice.

We will continue to provide a restricted service for access to collections. We kindly ask researchers to please limit their requests to urgent cases only which we will do our best to facilitate.

We are operating a limited public service for general archive queries via email only: For non-archive related queries please email

We advise that researchers firstly access our Archaeological Survey of Ireland records via the Historic Environment Viewer on this website. If further information is still required, then please email where we will endeavour to deal with your request. Access to our excavation report collection is also impacted but, again, we will do our best to fulfil your request.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

Contact Information

The Archive Unit can be contacted either by telephone (01) 888 3922 (from Ireland) / +353 1 8883922 (from outside Ireland) or by email

Application Forms

Form 1: Archive File Request Form PDF

Form 2: Request to view unpublished excavation reports PDF

Form 3: Application for RMP Maps & Lists PDF

Information & Guidelines

NMS Archive Unit Information Booklet

Archive Reading Room Regulations

Finding Aid

The Finding Aid lists all the archaeological reports in the possession of the Archive Unit. It is available as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. It contains an index explaining what types of reports are included, and separate worksheets for Dive Licences, Excavation Reports, Excavations carried out under Ministerial Consent or Direction, Non-Licenced reports and Detection Device Consents.

 Archaeological Reports - Finding Aid [XLSX]


Archive Unit,
National Monuments Service, 
Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Room G62,
Custom House,
Dublin 1.