Saturday 25 May 2024

National Archives of Ireland's €37m expansion enters next phase

The project to redevelop the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) entered its next phase earlier this week and will take a little over a year (65 weeks) to complete. The work will see the existing foundations strengthened and a second floor built into the existing structure.

This extra space will increase the capacity of the National Archives by two-thirds and provide for state of the art racking and shelving systems.

The National Archives of Ireland

Space has been tight at the NAI's five-storey premises (formerly the Jacobs biscuit factory) on the corner of Bishop Street and Bride Street in Dublin 8 for some years. Its collections total over 50 million records dating from the 16th century to records relating to the modern Irish state, but despite its substantial footprint – the repository extends back to Peter Street – it has been unable to accept all government files since 2013.

When completed, the expanded and converted repository will enable all backlogs currently held by government departments and bodies to transfer to the National Archives, the collections will be kept in more environmentally secure conditions and will enjoy improved fire protection, and the stronger foundations will allow for future upward expansion of archival storage vaults.

The €37m redevelopment is a significant project under the National Cultural Institutions investment programme as part of Project Ireland 2040.

The project is funded by the Department for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and is being delivered in partnership with the Office of Public Works.