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Using Government Publications in the Library

Official Publications are divided into two collections.

  • Official Publications (OP): This collection constitutes one off reports and publications. Post-1985 material is located in the compact shelving on the ground floor of the Library. Pre- 1985 Official Publications are located in Special Collections and must be requested and consulted there. 

  • Official Publications Serials (OPS): This constitutes runs of Official Publications that are classified as serials. Most regular annual reports from Government departments and agencies are part of this collection. Post-1985 runs of Official Publications serials are located in the compact shelving. Pre- 1985 runs are located in the offsite store and must be requested.

Searching for Official Publications on the Library Catalogue

For example, if you are researching an essay on “Official Drugs Policy in Ireland”:

  • Open the library catalogue and enter the key terms: Drugs Ireland
  • A list of available items will be displayed, a number of which will be clearly listed as available in Official Publications.
  • Note: the Holdings screen will verify exactly where the publication is held i.e. the Official Publications or Official Publications Serials collections
  • These physical collections are clearly marked in the compact shelving on the ground floor
  • As you will see some older pre- 1985 material may not be on open access. This will have to be requested and viewed in the Special Collections reading room.
  • Be aware that having the official name of the report rather than the shorthand title can be very important e.g. the 1958 Whittaker Report is correctly entitled the “First Programme for Economic Expansion"

For your research note that :

  • The catalogue (L&RS) of the Oireachas Library provides the full text of thousands of Irish Official Publications
  • Current Official Publications may be available in full text through the relevant departmental website.

Uncatalogued Government Publications

As previously mentioned there is a small amount of uncatalogued material held in the Library basement which we have a card index for. 

Pre-Independence Ireland

Queries about official sources from pre-independence Ireland are normally dealt with by Special Collections. We have a collection of UK statutes from 1800 held in storage and many pre-independence papers of Irish interest are available on the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers online, accessible through the Library Catalogue. We also hold a collection of pre-1800 Irish statutes enacted prior to the Act of Union.