The Oireachtas Library & Research Service provides information and research services to elected Members of the Irish parliament. Our mission is to contribute to a well-informed parliament and our vision is to strengthen the democratic process by providing Members with equal access to information and research services, and by enhancing public access to research and collections.
Totalling almost 10,000 items, our parliamentary heritage collections range from the late sixteenth century and include books, maps, periodicals, cartoons, prints, pamphlets and original manuscript material. These parliamentary heritage collections represent a unique perspective on the administration of Ireland during the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They are intrinsically significant based on their provenance and range of content.
Of note is the reference library of the Chief Secretary’s Office, which was transferred from Dublin Castle to the Houses of the Oireachtas in 1924. Much of it has been digitised and made available online for researchers and public users. Published materials from this collection cover a wide range of topics: the 1641 rebellion, the Restoration land settlement; the Popish Plot and Exclusion crises; the Act of Union; Catholic Emancipation; the Land League and the Land War; Acts, Statutes and official reports of the British parliament and public bodies.
Periodicals include the long-running Dublin Gazette (digitised from 1750 to 1800) and the United Irishman edited and printed by Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa in New York (digitised from 1881 to 1900).
The collection also includes original manuscript material, most notably: correspondence of George Townshend, 1st Marquess Townshend and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1767 to 1772; handwritten letters from Sir William Petty, Vincent Gookin and Myles Symner regarding their survey work in Ireland to aid in the confiscation of Catholic lands; handwritten trials of the Fenians in the 1860s.