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Archives & Special Collections Reading Room

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 Archival collections.

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

Reader spaces in the Archives & Special Collections Reading Room must be booked in advance. You can do this by emailing: with details of the material, you wish to consult. Information on consulting material is available below.

Do I need ID to access the reading room?

University of Galway Readers: You must bring your University of Galway student or staff ID card with you

Non-University of Galway Readers: You should bring some form of Photo ID

While we do our best to facilitate walk-in readers, please be aware that this may not always be possible. To avoid disappointment it is better to contact us in advance.

How do I access the reading room?

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.

How do I request the material?

University of Galway readers may request books 24 hours in advance using the Library Catalogue.

Sign in using your University of Galway login details first so that the request facility will be available to you when you locate your chosen material on the catalogue.

Non-University of Galway readers may request Special Collections books by emailing

To consult archival collections, please first check our Archives Catalogue to identify collections.

If you require guidance on collection elements, please email the archivists at for advice.

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.

How to use the reading room?

Please familiarize yourself with our Guidelines for Readers and Conditions of Access advice.

How will I know my items are available?

You will receive confirmation by email.

What material is available for consultation?

  • Special Collection printed materials such as books/journals/maps/newspapers
  • Hardcopy Archival Collections
  • Digitised Archives

When can I consult material?

Check the Archives & Special Collections Reading Room hours on the Opening Hours page.

Who can avail of this service?

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

Special Collections

Tel: 091 49 3399