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Early Printed Books


There are no public photocopiers in the Department of Early Printed Books & Special Collections but a paid scanning service is provided.


Scanning is not done regularly. Although every effort is made to fill requests as quickly as possible it can take a week or more at busy times.

However, staff reserve the right to refuse any request for any reason, particularly if it does not comply with copyright regulations or if it would cause or increase damage to the material.

Large quantities and digital delivery must be paid for in advance.


Readers may take photographs without flash and for private use. Staff should first be consulted regarding copyright restrictions.

If the reproduction is for publication, images must be obtained through Digital Collections.

Manuscripts & Archives

Self-Service Photography of Manuscripts & Archives

Self-service photography is permitted under the following regulations:

  • Only material which is out of copyright may be imaged
  • A request should be made to the archivist on duty and the decision is at the archivist’s discretion as there maybe circumstances other than copyright to take into consideration
  • No photography can be permitted on a Saturday due to the altered supervisory arrangements on that day
  • Small hand-held cameras are permitted only. Tripods and flash photography are not acceptable nor is any noise or activity which may disturb other readers
  • Material available on Digital Collections should not be requested for imaging
  • By signing the application to consult manuscripts, upon arrival, each reader agrees that any image they may be permitted to take are for their private research only
  • Images for publication, and permission to publish, must be acquired through the Library’s digital imaging service (see below)


Images of manuscripts and archives can normally be supplied subject to copyright and conservation regulations. The researcher must provide evidence of copyright clearance for material under 70 years old; the Library will assist where possible. For details of how to request an image please see contact Digital Collections.


Some manuscripts also exist in microfilm format. To arrange consultation of microfilm material contact the Multimedia Resource Area.


Photocopying of manuscripts is not permitted. Photocopies of printed material can normally be provided, for a fee, provided the material and copying complies with the Higher Education Licence issued by the Irish Copyright Licensing Agency. There is no self-service photocopying in Manuscripts & Archives.

Permission to Publish

Copyright permission to publish photographic images or editions of manuscripts and archives collections must be obtained from the copyright holder. In some instances Manuscripts & Archives may be the copyright holder, but in other cases copyright permission must be obtained from elsewhere. Check WATCH for information on Writers, Artists and their Copyright Holders.

In all cases please contact us for further guidance on copyright clearance.


See the Genealogy page.


Production companies wishing to enquire about filming should contact the addresses below:

Archiving of Modern Trinity College Dublin Material

What are College records?

All records (in all formats) generated by College officers in the normal course of the execution of College business, including:

  • Student records
  • Examination papers
  • Samples of examination scripts
  • Correspondence
  • Other administrative and financial documents

Copies of documents, the originals of which exist elsewhere, as well as printed material and publications, such as books, booklets and leaflets, are generally not deemed archival.

What are the College Archives?

The College Archives are part of Manuscripts & Archives and are the repository for all non-current official College records that have sufficient historical, administrative and legal value to warrant their preservation.

When should transfer take place?

Records that are 30 or more years old and not in current use should be transferred to the College Archives.

What happens to records once they have been transferred to the College Archives?

Transferred records are accessioned and stored securely (on- and off-site), with a view to eventually making them accessible for public consultation (subject to certain restrictions and exceptions).

Can unlisted records be retrieved for consultation?

Records that have been transferred to the College Archives but which are not available for general consultation for one or both of the following reasons - 1) they are under 30 years old; 2) they are unlisted - may be retrieved for consultation by a representative of the originating office or department. Researchers who are not members of the originating entity, but who wish to consult such records, may do so with the written permission of the relevant office. Please note that a charge applies for the retrieval of each box of records.

How do I transfer records?

  • Records to be transferred to the College Archives should be packed in boxes provided by Manuscripts & Archives
  • Once records have been identified for transfer contact should be made with the College Archives officer to order the required number of flat-pack boxes
  • A transfer sheet is sent to the transferring department, which should be completed as the boxes are being packed, and returned to the College Archives by e-mail
  • Boxes should then be transferred to Manuscripts & Archives

What happens to the boxes once they have been transferred?

On arrival in the College Archives each box of records is given a unique barcode number. The transfer sheet is then updated and a copy is sent back to the originating department for their records. The boxes are usually sent to an off-site storage facility, from which they can be retrieved. Most records are not made available for general research until they are 30 years old and have been catalogued by a member of Manuscripts & Archives (see above for exceptions). Some records may be subject to a longer closure period. These include records which contain personal information, or those of a sensitive nature. These longer periods of closure are decided upon in conjunction with the transferring department.

For further information and enquiries please contact us.