Thursday 10 December 2020

Irish genealogy services: what's open/what's closed

With much of the island now opening up again after the latest round(s) of Lockdown, here's an overview of what's available (or about to become available) at the repositories where Irish genealogists usually like to hang out.

Northern Ireland

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
PRONI will reopen tomorrow (Friday 11 December) with visitor restrictions in place. Research appointments that had been scheduled but then cancelled when the October lockdown was introduced will be rescheduled for dates in December 2020 and January 2021. A number of digital access only appointments at PRONI will also be available from 11 December until the New Year.

Dates for new research appointments to view original records and/or microfilms at PRONI will not be released until early January. 

In the meantime, the PRONI enquiry service will continue to provide quidance and offer a fee-paying search and copying service for open records.

The General Register Office of Northern Ireland
GRONI will reopen its public search room on Monday 14 December. The website hasn't yet been updated, but specific details of hours, appointments and other information for visitors will no doubt be posted shortly.

In the meantime, you can apply for life event certificates by phone on 0300 200 7890 or online ordering life event certificate.

Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland
The Presbyterian Historical Society Library and Archive premises remain closed and all postal business is suspended. However, the Society is maintaining an email service for enquiries at

Republic of Ireland

National Archives of Ireland
The NAI has reopened from 10:30am–12:30pm and 2pm–4pm and there is detailed visitor information here. An appointment-only system is in place for those with a Readers Ticket. It looks as though there are no available appointments for the rest of the year.

National Library of Ireland
The NLI has reopened some areas to registered Readers only. Access is by appointment-only to the Main Reading Room, the Microfilm Reading Room, the Manuscript Reading Room and the Family History Room. The latter is open for researchers to use its online resources and reference books but no genealogy consultations are being offered. Café Joly is closed. So, too, is the NLI's Photographic Archive in Temple Bar.

A detailed breakdown of the current restrictions, visitor rules and booking system can be found at Using the NLI's Onsite Services.

Registry of Deeds
The archive has reopened for limited public appointments to access pre-1970 records. These bookings are available only for essential legal purposes and can be made online.

All other PRAI public rooms, including the Research Room (for the Griffiths Valuation Revision Books and maps) at the Irish Life centre are closed. A date for re-opening will be confirmed in due course.

General Register Office of Ireland
The GRO Research Room in Dublin is open again with a restricted appointment system in place. While the number of appointments remain so limited, an email service is available. Details.

RCB Library (Church of Ireland Archive)
The library and archive remains closed to visitors, but an email service is available for guidance at