Central Bank opens its archives up to the public

The bank has also developed an online catalogue

Central Bank opens its archives up to the public

Image: Central Bank Archive

The Central Bank of Ireland has opened its archives to the public.

The bank says the archives can now be used for public research purposes for the first time.

They include a range of materials created and acquired by the bank - such as objects, documents and ledgers dating from 1786 to 1986.

The new rules mean records created, maintained and received by the bank which have reached 30 years of age will be available.

All materials will be open to researchers to review in a dedicated research room.

However those who wish to access the material need to give a minimum of 48 hours' notice.

The archival collections contain:

  • Over 12,000 paper files
  • Over 2,000 Central Bank publications
  • Over 4,000 photographic prints
  • Over 560 architectural plans and drawings;
  • Over 250 bound ledgers
The Central Bank on Dublin's North Wall Quay | File photo

The Central Bank has also developed an online catalogue of the materials, to allow the public to search online and identify what they would like to review.

Appointments can also be made online to access the materials.

The Central Bank says its headquarters in North Wall Quay was designed "specifically to incorporate an archive reading room and supporting facilities to allow researchers to consult and view archival material of interest to them."

The new building also houses a free visitor centre, open to the public from 10.00am to 4.00pm weekdays.

The Central Bank is currently exempt from the provisions of the National Archive Act 1986.

However, the bank says it will release material in future on a '30 year rule' basis, as applies across the public sector.

Speaking on the official launch of the archives, Governor Philip Lane said: "The opening of the archives is in line with our commitment to increase transparency and promote public understanding of the role and functions of the Central Bank.

"Wider access to the archives will also increase the volume of long-term economic and banking data available to policy makers and scholars.

"While our official publications have always been in the public, the reasoning, in many cases, behind our policy decisions will now also be available to scholarly researchers.

"I believe that this will make a significant contribution to economic, financial and social research."