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National Library of Ireland
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Ireland’s story is an open book… discover it all at the National Library of Ireland

Visit the National Library of Ireland (NLI), where Ireland’s story is an open book. Enjoy the NLI’s lively programme of events and exhibitions, consult its collections, get help tracing your family tree and drop by the Library's Café. Particular highlights at the main library building on Kildare Street are the award-winning Yeats exhibition and magnificent Victorian reading room.

The NLI’s National Photographic Archive is situated in Temple Bar and offers exhibitions year round.

'Listen Now Again,' a very special exhibition honouring the life and works of one of Ireland’s finest poets, Seamus Heaney, is at the Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre, Westmoreland Street. All locations are FREE to visit and within a short walking distance of the Grafton Street shopping area and St. Stephens Green.

Highlights include:
  • Lively programme of exhibitions and events for all ages, the majority of which are FREE.
  • Award-winning Yeats exhibition.
  • Free genealogy advisory service.
  • Magnificent reading room (accessible with free Reader’s Ticket).
  • Free wi-fi for members.
  • Intimate Café Joly, serving delicious treats Monday - Saturday.

Further information is available at Follow the NLI on Twitter @NLIreland, Facebook National Library of Ireland, Flickr on the Commons, Vimeo and YouTube.

Visitor Information

Open Year Round

Main & Manuscripts Reading Room, Kildare Street
Monday - Wednesday 09:30 - 19:45 
Thursday & Friday 09:30 - 16:45 
Saturday 09:30 - 12:45 

Readers Ticket Office, Main building, Kildare Street
Monday 10:30 - 12:30; 14:00 - 16:00; 17:00 - 19:45 
Tuesday to Friday 10:30 - 12:30; 14:00 - 16:00
Saturday 09:30 - 12:45 

Kildare Street Exhibitions
1. William Butler Yeats   2. World War Ireland
Monday - Wednesday 09:30 - 19:45 
Thursday & Friday 09:30 - 16:45 
Saturday 09:30 - 16:45 
Sunday 13:00 - 16:45 

Genealogy Advisory Service
Monday - Wednesday 09:30 - 17:00 
Thursday & Friday 09:30 - 16:45 

Café Joly
Monday - Wednesday 09:30 - 18:00 
Thursday & Friday 09:30 - 17:00 
Saturday 10:30 - 14:30

National Photographic Archive, Temple Bar, Reading Room 
By appointment only

National Photographic Archive, Exhibition Gallery
Monday - Saturday 10:00 - 17:00 
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00

Contact Details

National Library of Ireland,
7-8 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, D02 P638

T: +353 (0) 1 603 0200

Closed: Public Holiday Mondays: Reading Rooms closed - Exhibitions open 12:00 to 17:00. Café Joly is closed on the Saturday and Monday during a public holiday weekend.

Approx Visit Duration: 30 - 60 minutes

Admission Prices 2019

Admission is FREE


Other Useful Information

Leaflets are available, free, in Irish and English.

Café Joly, named after the National Library's first donor, is situated in a bright spacious sun-filled room complimented by crisp modern design and contemporary artwork. Michael & his team who offer a seasonally based menu showcasing the best of Irish produce.

The lunch menu from midday throughout the day offers two soups, a warming stew, hearty quiches and pies served with colourful tasty homemade salads.

Outside of bustling lunchtimes the cafe is an oasis of calm & relaxation.

Opening hours: Mon/Tues/Weds 09:30 to 18:00; Thurs/Fri 09:30 to 17:00. Sat10.00 to 14:30 for teas, coffees and snacks.

A number of tables and chairs are located in front of the main Library building

There is parking at Setana Place, Molesworth Street, approx 2 minutes walk from the National Library of Ireland

ACCESSIBILITY for Wheelchair Users and Visitors with Reduced Mobility
Most of the National Library is accessible to wheelchair users, in some cases via the lift. There are steps up to the room housing the genealogy advisory service. There are accessible toilets. To assist readers with hearing difficulties, hearing loops are available. Assistance dogs may be brought into all public areas of the Library. Further information on accessibility is available by emailing

Group tours availabe (free). Pre-booking required.

The collections of the National Library constitute a unique learning resource for students of all aspects of Irish history and culture. They have devised a broad educational programme to maximise this potential, providing a wide range of services for primary, post-primary, third level students, lifelong learners and educators. For all enquiries contact

Free WFI is available in the reading rooms to registered readers.

Winner of an eGovernment Award in the category ‘Promoting Ireland Overseas’ (2016).


Map Location

The National Library of Ireland’s main building is located at 7-8 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, beside the Dáil. The Library has a further exhibition space at 3 Kildare Street, Dublin 2 and The National Photographic Archive is located at Meeting House Square in Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

All are within a short walking distance of the Grafton Street shopping area and St. Stephens Green. All locations are well serviced by public transport (bus, Luas and Dart).

 National Library of Ireland    Nearby Attractions

Next-up Events

January 1 - December 31 2019
Events at the National Library of Ireland read more

Group Enquiry?

If you have a group enquiry for 10 or more people, you can contact us here.