The Archive Unit

The Archive Unit is a section within the National Monuments Service, Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht 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. The opening day and time remain the same as before - Fridays only from 10am to 5pm – however please note that the reading room will close completely from 1pm to 2.15pm on this day.

UPDATED - Temporary Closure of Reading Room

Due to an unavoidable closure of the reading room, the Archive Unit regrets to inform that access to archive collections will be suspended for a number of weeks until an alternative space can be made available.

The closure period will be from Friday 2 August up to and including Friday 18th October 2019. It is anticipated that the next date for archive appointments will be Friday 25th October 2019, however please note that spaces will be provided on a first come first served basis for a number of weeks after reopening. Any changes to these dates will be updated on this website.

During this closure please continue to check our monuments database which may provide information on the sites you need to research, and also for information on excavated sites.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused during this closure. If you have any queries regarding this please contact

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Form 2: Request to view unpublished excavation reports PDF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.

Click here to download



Archive Unit,
National Monuments Service, 
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Room G62,
Custom House,
Dublin 1.