Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question in relation to access to Military Archives or types of records we may hold, please consult the FAQ (frequently asked questions) below.

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fold faq Who owns the copyright for content on this website?

Military Archives is the official place of deposit for government records on Defence and the Defence Forces under the terms of the National Archives Act, 1986. The records held in Military Archives are therefore protected under Copyright law. 

Due reference must be given where sources from Military Archives are used in the production of a publication, blog, website or any analogue or electronic medium whatsoever.  If any material held in Military Archives is to be used in a publication of any kind, in particular images from this website, from online collections or from digital photography taken in the Military Archives reading room or at a Military Archives exhibition, written permission must be sought in advance from the Officer in Charge, Military Archives.  

fold faq How do I book an appointment, and what facilities are available in the reading room?

The reading room at Military Archives has eight seats and is located on the ground floor in the archives building. Please note that if more than one person wishes to attend your appointment you will need to reserve extra seats. Members of Staff are unable to facilitate researchers without prior notice. Prior appointment is necessary to secure a place, due to space limitations. At present, the reading room is open from 10.00-12.30 and 13.30-16.00, Tuesday to Thursday. Please note that there are no canteen facilities on-site.

Many collections have paper finding aids, but in a number of cases research will require an orientation with the duty archivist to ascertain which records are most relevant. This can be done on arrival. Power sockets are available for laptop use. Use of cameras is by prior permission only, provided images are taken for one-time, personal study use only and a legal agreement form is signed.

Rules for the Reading Room are available at the front desk or for download at this link, Reading Room Rules [PDF 14KB].

To facilitate the administration of your appointment in Military Archives you can prepare some of the reading room forms in advance of your visit.

Those with special needs should indicate this to the duty archivist when making their appointment to ensure the provision of the best possible service.

fold faq I have material that may be of interest to Military Archives. How do I make a donation?

Military Archives has over 1,000 named private collections relating to the Defence Forces and the Department of Defence. Depending on the nature and extent of your material, we very much appreciate any donation once it is in line with our collecting policy. If we are not in a position to take your material, we are happy to advise you on other institutions best placed to receive a collection. Given our status and mission as a public service archives, all private material taken as a donation is usually available for public research once it has been processed.

The Military Archives does not have a purchasing policy.

fold faq How do I get to Military Archives?

Military Archives is located within Cathal Brugha Barracks, just off Military Road in Rathmines, Dublin 6. Cathal Brugha Barracks is a working barracks and upon entering the barracks the gate policeman may wish to check your identification and check the visitors list. Please note routine security checks may be carried out. There are several options for getting to the archives:

By public transport: The no.15 buses operated by Dublin Bus from the railings at Trinity College on Pearse Street pass along Rathmines Road, which intersects with Military Road. The stop nearest St. Mary’s School is the one closest to Cathal Brugha Barracks.

The LUAS green line stop at Charlemont Bridge is about a ten minute walk away from the barracks. Simply get off at this stop, follow the canal to Portobello Bridge and turn left onto Rathmines Road. Then take a right turn onto Military Road by St. Mary’s School until you reach the main gates of the barracks.

On foot/bicycle: Via the main barracks gate off Military Road (near St. Mary’s School).

By car: Parking is provided within barracks for researchers. Please give advance notice of your vehicle’s registration details.    Please note, taxis  may not enter Barracks.


fold faq Can I access information from the archives by writing in?

Because of the volume of queries we receive, we do not have the staffing levels available to conduct individual research for members of the public. Like most Archive and library services, we make the material available to members of the public in our reading room so that they can carry out the research for themselves. If you wish to conduct detailed research, you should contact the duty archivist in advance for an appointment at 00 353 (0)1 804 6457, or else by email:  

fold faq An bhfuil seirbhís tré Ghaeilge ar fáil sa Chartlann Mhíleata?

Tá seirbhís Ghaeilge ar fáil más míon leat. Ná­ már duit teagmháil a dhéanamh leis an Chartlann Mhí­leata. An seoladh atá againn ná:

An Chartlann Mhí­leata,
Dún Chathail Bhrugha,
Ráth Maonais.
Baile átha Cliath 6,

Ná email:



fold faq How do I contact Military Archives?

Please see the ‘Contact Us’ page. In order to provide an efficient service, researchers are urged to include the following in all postal and email correspondence, where possible:

1. A contact address, telephone number and email address.

2. If your query relates to the service of a family member or ancestor:
please include details of where and when the person served (including whether Army, Naval Service or Air Corps) and unit, if known, as well as date of birth, service number and contemporary home address

3. If your query relates to previously published sources from the Military Archives or those which cite the Military Archives:
please include the exact file reference (if known), date of publication, author and title.

fold faq How do I trace my ancestor's service in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the Royal Munster Fusiliers, the Irish Guards or other named Irish regiments/formations in the British Army in the First/Second World War?

Many researchers confuse the Military Archives as a place of deposit for the records of all Irish people who have served in other armed forces.  In fact, the Military Archives holds only the personnel records of those who served in the military of the Irish Free State from 1922, as well as material pertaining to the Irish Volunteers and the Independence movement, 1913-1921.

Information about British Army records, including those for the Irish Regiments, can be obtained at The National Archives of England, at Kew in London. You can view information about tracing military ancestors in the British Army on their website and you can also refer to useful information concerning the Irish Regiments and how to access service details for World War I veterans in the following document:

Information Document on the Irish Regiments of the British Army [PDF 280KB]

fold faq How do I gain access to personnel records of an ancestor or relative who served in the Defence Forces or National Army?

Personnel records of soldiers that are deceased are currently available to direct next of kin only. In exceptional circumstances, direct next of kin may give permission to a third party researcher to proceed with an enquiry on their behalf.

Military Archives requires a signed letter of application for personnel records along with copies of the birth certificate(s) of the applicant to establish their relationship to personnel of interest.

For example: the son or daughter would need to send a copy (either scanned and attached on an email, or a photocopy posted to us) of the long version of their birth certificate, while a grandson or granddaughter would need, in addition, a signed note of permission to view the file from the next of kin.

If the direct next of kin has died, then the grandson or granddaughter would need to send on copies of both their own birth certificate and the birth certificate of their father or mother, to show their relationship to the soldier over the two generations. 

The OIC Military Archives may request a death certificate for the subject and/or a sworn affidavit stating the next of kin relationship.

If you are direct next of kin, you should apply to see your ancestors’ records as follows:

1. If the subject left the Defence Forces less than thirty years ago:
A. For officers (i.e. Lieutenants, Captains, Commandants etc.) write to:
OIC Commissioned Officers’ Management Office
Station Rd,
Co. Kildare.

B. For enlisted personnel (i.e. Privates, Corporals, Sergeants etc.) write to:
OIC Enlisted Personnel Management Office,
Station Rd,
Co. Kildare.

2. If the subject left the Defence Forces more than thirty years ago:
For officers (i.e. Lieutenants, Captains, Commandants etc.) and for enlisted personnel (i.e. privates, corporals, sergeants etc.) – write directly to OIC Military Archives, as per the contact address. Please include details such as service number and rank (if known), date of birth and home address(es) of personnel during their service).