19/01/16

Minister Humphreys launches design phase of new €8m redevelopment of National Archives

Up to 4 million files to be stored in new Archives facility

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, today (Tuesday) visited the National Archives of Ireland to launch the design and construction phases for the major €8 million expansion works which will begin at Bishop Street this year. As part of her visit, Minister Humphreys met with members of the design team, representatives of the Office of Public Works (OPW) and staff at the Archives.

Approximately four million files, containing an estimated 100 million pages will be stored in the new Archives building once it is completed. The National Archives stores a huge range of public material, including Government papers, Census records and files dating from the revolutionary period, including Secret Polices files and compensation claims made after the 1916 Rising.

Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:

“These major expansion works at the Archives, made possible by the economic recovery, will transform the Bishop Street building into a state-of-the-art archival storage facility. By safeguarding our documents and records, the National Archives helps to preserve our history and tell our national story. The importance of the Archives is being underlined through the 1916 commemorations; the Archives hold a wealth of material which sheds light on that fascinating period.

“The Government intends to gradually move to a 20 year rule for the release of State papers. Expanding and upgrading the National Archives is essential to cope with the increased demand that will come about as a result of this change. Investment in the future accessibility and preservation of public records is also timely given this decade of centenaries, as we turn to resources held by the National Archives and other institutions to reflect and remember on the events of 1916 and beyond as the Irish State emerged from the Rising, and the Civil War.”

John McDonough, Director of the National Archives, said:

“We very much appreciate the Minister taking the time to come to Bishop Street and launch the design phase of our new archives storage facilities.  The National Archives looks forward to working with the OPW and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to see the construction of all phases of this important milestone in developing capacity and capability in the National Archives.”

The building development will improve the quality and quantity of storage available to the National Archives at its premises on Bishop Street.  The facilities will be upgraded to state of the art archival storage meeting the BD 5454 benchmark standard for long term preservation.

The first phase of the works will require the decanting of over 1,900 pallets of archives from the existing warehouse building to the rear of the Bishop Street premises and its conversion into a works site for developing archival quality storage and ancillary facilities.  Works are expected to commence in September 2016 and, once completed, will provide accommodation for 137,000 archival boxes of four million records.

ENDS

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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