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Archives: Plan A Visit

Accessing UCC Library Archives

Access to archival collections is by prior appointment with the Library Archives Service via email.

To ensure your appointment can be accommodated you must give at least one week’s notice in advance of any visit.

Time and careful handling is required to prepare and retrieve archival material from storage for researcher access.

Only fully processed collections are available for research. Our collections are open to non students of UCC provided they are in receipt of a valid UCC Readers Card.  See application form for this card and other information for external readers. For readers requiring the use of Library facilities for a brief period, a day card may be applied for at the Information Desk on Q Level (+353-21-4902292).

All readers must agree to the conditions of access before being allowed to use archival material and complete an Application Form during their first visit in person to the Service. UCC Library also reserves the right to withhold certain items from use by researchers on conservation grounds and where such use is potentially damaging to the item(s) concerned. Full conditions of access can be found on the relevant tab at the top of this page.

Facilities in UCC Library Archives

All archival manuscript material is viewed here in the Rare Books Reading Room.

Requesting Material

All material is for consultation only and cannot be removed from UCC Library Archives or borrowed from the Library.

The relevant description list for a collection should be consulted first.  All items within a collection will have a specific call number located in a column on the left hand side of the descriptive list. Please note the call numbers of the item(s) you wish to see. 

Once the call numbers of the items have been located contact the Library Archives Service. Items may only be viewed if there is email confirmation.

Using A Descriptive List

A Descriptive List is a fundamental finding aid for an archival collection. It should contain information which details the provenance of a collection and its system of arrangement. The list facilitates researchers in locating documents of specific interest to their research topic. It also assists researchers in assessing the collection as a primary source and judge the evidential value of the archives.

The online pdf copy of a Descriptive List is keyword searchable. To bring up a Find box onscreen, click Ctrl+F, then enter a keyword – e.g. a person’s surname/a place name. Please be aware that spellings of names and places change over centuries so you may have to conduct multiple searches. Contained within the list will be a brief description of each item in a collection which will include details such as the date and size of the item. Each entry will have a call number. When you wish to look at a particular item please provide the archivist with the relevant call number.

Below is a typical example of a list entry IE BL/EP/R (Ryan of Inch Collection)

20. 1692 
See Also 

Probate with copy of the will of Daniel Ryan, Inchiofogarty. Appoints as executors his wife Frances (née Ragget) and his son John. Other children named are Nicholas, Andrew, Patrick, Joseph and Frances. The will is dated 2 April 1692. 2 skins

In this case the call number is IE BL/EP/R/20, the date of the item is 1692, and it comprises of two skins (parchment sheets). With an entry See Also /8, information relating to this item can also be found in item BL/EP/R/8.

Hard copy Descriptive Lists for archival collections within the Boole Library are available for consultation during Library opening hours from the Special Collections desk in Q-1. Descriptive Lists may not be borrowed from the Library. Detailed information relating to the collection will be contained in theIntroduction of the hardcopy list.