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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 www.nli.ie. Follow the NLI on Twitter @NLIreland, Facebook National Library of Ireland, Flickr on the Commons, Vimeo and YouTube.

Visitor Information

Open Year Round

*Open from 29 June, open on an appointments basis from 10am – 4pm, Monday to Friday. Normal service hours including Saturdays and evenings resuming on Monday 31st August, subject to Government public health advice.

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 

Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again. Westmoreland Street, Bank of Ireland Cultural and Heritage Centre.
Monday - Saturday 10:00 - 16:00 (Last admission 15.30)

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
W: www.nli.ie

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 2020

Admission is FREE


Other Useful Information

Leaflets are available, free, in Irish and English.

Café Joly is a bright and spacious sun-filled room complemented by National Library photographs. This calm and relaxing space is run by Carol Treacy and her team. Tables can be reserved, and during the warm months, Café Joly has a sun-drenched outdoor terrace perfect for al fresco dining and watching the world go by. The offering is a seasonally-based menu showcasing the best of Irish food producers. 

Lunch is from 11:30 and offers two gourmet sandwiches, vegetarian soups, a meat stew, and delicious quiches including a vegetarian option. Throughout the day, enjoy tea and coffee with delicious scones, pastries, and cakes, including gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan cakes and treats.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday – 09:30 - 16:45; Saturday 10:00 - 14.45.  (limited lunch)

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 info@nli.ie

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 learning@nli.ie

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


Follow the NLI on Twitter @NLIreland and @, Facebook National Library of Ireland, Instagram @nationallibraryofireland. Flickr on the Commons, YouTube.

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

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If you are interested in visiting this attraction, seeking more information or have a group enquiry, please contact us here.