The Irish Archives Resource (IAR) is an online database which contains searchable archival descriptions.

Our Purpose

The purpose of the IAR Portal is to:

  • Allow users to locate archives and records that are relevant to their research
  • Increase the use of archives by directing researchers to the relevant Archives Services
  • Encourage the development and publication of comprehensive, standardised archive descriptions
“Open access to archives enriches our knowledge of human society, promotes democracy, protects citizens’ rights and enhances the quality of life”

~ Universal Declaration on Archives, UNESCO


In 2007 the Heritage Council commissioned a Feasibility Study on the establishment of an online archives portal and following this study a pilot project was established. Martin Bradley ( was commissioned to facilitate the development of a pilot project to cover 4 archival repositories in counties Cork and Waterford: Cork City and County Archives, University College Cork Library Archives, Waterford City Archives and Waterford County Archives. The portal was successfully tested in November 2009 and following feedback from this pilot phase it was decided to develop the portal site – Irish Archives Resource.

The Irish Archives Resource is a voluntary group supported by the Archives and Records Association, Ireland and the School of History and Archives, University College Dublin. It is an all island portal funded by the Heritage Council, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and the Department for Communities (Northern Ireland).

The Irish Archives Resource has been helping users locate archives on the island of Ireland since 2009.

Related Resources

We are always interested and open to meeting with potential collaborators and our moderators are available to assist archivists with creating suitable descriptive lists for inclusion on our site. 

If you have any queries in relation to contributing, please contact us at

Steering Group

The IAR portal is managed by a Steering Group made up of representatives from the following organisations:

  • Archives and Records Association, Ireland
  • Digital Repository of Ireland
  • The Heritage Council
  • Irish Manuscripts Commission
  • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
  • National Archives of Ireland
  • National Library of Ireland
  • School of History and Archives, University College Dublin
  • Waterford City and County Archives
  • DLR, Lexicon
  • Fingal County Archives
  • History Teachers’ Association of Ireland

Joanne Rothwell

Waterford City and County Archivist

Dr. Elizabeth Mullins

Honorary Treasurer
School of History, University College Dublin

Karen De Lacey

Fingal County Council

Dolores Grant

National Library of Ireland

David Gunning

dlr, LexIcon

Cathy Hayes

Irish Manuscripts Commission

Natalie Milne

National Archives, Ireland

Deirdre MacMathuna

History Teachers’ Association of Ireland