Academic Research at the Military Archives

As the official place of deposit for the records of the Irish Defence Forces and Department of Defence, the archival material at the Military Archives constitutes the documentary evidence of the Republic of Ireland’s military heritage.  This material spans the revolutionary period, through the foundation of the National Army, right up to the present day.

Our records are those that retain their importance in documenting the Defence Forces despite the passage of time, provide the means for evaluating the effects of military and departmental actions, and contribute substantially to knowledge and understanding of the people, groups and events within and associated with the Defence Forces and Department of Defence.  As such, the records at the Military Archives are highly valuable primary academic sources, and attract a range of researchers from Leaving Certificate students right up to post-doctoral researchers and professional historians.

Conducting Research

Research is by appointment and a seat in the reading room is usually available within a week of contacting us.  There is no cost for visiting the Military Archives.

Research in the Military Archives is facilitated in the Commandant Peter Young Reading Room.  Here, you will be provided with your own designated seat and workspace, with individual lighting and power sockets.  We also provide access to our collection of books and journals on a range of military topics, as well as free access to various online research resources.

In order to facilitate requests to view files, it is important that researchers first familiarise themselves with our finding aids, which give descriptive details of the material available within a given collection, as well as reference codes for requesting them.  Some of these finding aids are available on this website and others are available in hard copy in the reading room.  The duty archivist will be happy to assist or guide you in identifying the collections most suitable to your field of research and are best contacted by email.

Military Archives material may be reproduced, with permission from the Officer in Charge, for academic purposes.

The material in the Military Archive is monumental in its detail and scope, and it is likely to transform research into an understanding of Irish military endeavour during the revolutionary period 1916 to 1923 as well as the political, social and cultural forces underpinning it. It also contains illuminating and invaluable material about the legacy and afterlife of the revolution and its impact on participants and victims.

Prof Diarmaid Ferriter