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The reading room is open Monday, Tuesday and Friday between, 10.00-12.30 and 13.30-16.00

You must book in advance to consult material in the Archives & Special Collections Reading Room, please see below for information on the process for consulting material. 

This service enables readers to place requests to access Special Collections items and Archival material in the Reading Room. 

What material is available for consultation?

  • Special Collection printed materials such as books/journals/maps/newspapers.
  • Print Archival collections.
  • Digitised archives.

Who can avail of this service?

All registered students and staff of NUI Galway and bona fide external researchers wishing to consult materials not available to them elsewhere.

When can I consult material?

Items will be retrieved and ready for consultation between 10.00-12.30 and 13.30-16.00 on Monday, Tuesday and Friday

How long can I stay?

You can stay in the Archives & Special Collections Reading Room for up to 2.5 hours. 

How will I know my items are available?

Staff will confirm by email. 

How do I access?

Access is via the Hardiman Building foyer. Go the right and take the corridor to the right of the lift. The reading room is at the end.

What should I do in advance?

  • NUI Galway readers may request books 24 hours in advance using the Library Catalogue at Please login using your NUI, Galway login details first so that the request facility will be available to you when you locate your chosen material on the catalogue. The login tab is on the top right of the page. Non-NUI, Galway readers may request Special Collections books by emailing
  • To consult archival collections, please first check our Archives Catalogue at to identify collections.
  • If you require guidance on collection elements, please email archivists, who will advise by email on return. Contact details are on the Archives Libguide.
  • Material can be requested by emailing at least 24 hours in advance, and noting the identification details of the collection as well as specific item numbers for the material you would like to view. No extra retrieval will be possible on arrival.

Do I need ID to access Reading Room?

NUI Galway Readers: You must bring your NUI Galway student or staff ID CARD with you. 
Non-NUI Galway Readers: You should bring some form of Photo ID.

No walk-in access will be permitted.

Using the room?

On arrival, your items will already be placed on one of 6 reader spaces. In compliance with COVID 19 regulations, you will be asked to thoroughly wash your hands. You will need to bring your own headphones as none will be provided. Only one booking a day for using digital archives within room. Access to photocopier will be restricted. Requests for further retrieval during visit will not be permitted.

Will lockers be available?

Yes, but please indicate locker number to staff members.

The Archives & Special Collections Reading Room is located on the Ground Floor of the Hardiman Building. It is set aside for the consultation of materials from our Special Collections, including rare and antiquarian books, maps and older newspapers as well as items from any of the Archives.

Due to the specialist and rare nature of the materials in use here, special ACSRR Reopening Guidelines for Readers‌ and Conditions of Access are in place for visitors to this room. 

Facilities in the Archives & Special Collections Reading Room include study spaces for consulting material, using WiFi and photocopying.  A sound booth is available to anyone who wishes to consult archival and special collections material that has a sound component.  For further information on using the sound booth, please contact the staff of the Archives & Special Collections Reading Room at

Lockers are provided for readers to store property while working on Special Collections or Archives material.



  • Highlights from the Special Collections

    Highlights from the Special Collections PDF (42.9 MB)