Today was my last day of research and I spent the day at the National Archives. Unlike the library, this is a modern building located on Bishop Street, about a 15 minute walk from the Library. On my first visit to the Archives, I walked past the street multiple times before I finally found it. You need to look on the side of the building for the name of the street.
Many of the documents you might be looking for are now on microfilm. On my first few visits I viewed census, Griffith's Valuation and the Tithe books all as originals. Now, for preservation purposes, those documents are only available on microfilm. The microfilms are self-service, but must be checked out using your reader's card…only one film at a time. There are quite a few microfilm readers, as well as reader/printers. Print cards can be purchased from a machine €2 for 8 pages. Some oversized pages count a 2 pages. You need to have exact change so remember to bring €1 and €2 coins with you.
There are still documents you must request as originals. You complete an order docket with your reader's ticket number, table number and a description of the document you need. This can be a bit tricky. There are multiple numbers and I ended up with the wrong documents on my first try. You can obtain the numbers from the description books that line the wall near the microfilm room and it's helpful to read the preface material which explains how to order. Documents are not pulled between 12:15 and 1:30, so if you're working through lunch make sure your requests are in before noon. If you're using your computer, make sure you pick a table with the holes for power. The outlets are under these tables.
There are two ways to get help at the National Archives. The Genealogy Service operates from 10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The genealogist on duty can help you determine what records might provide a solution for your research. There is also an Archvist on duty (from 10 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) who can assist you in finding a specific record collection.
My husband arrived today and we're leaving in the morning for Cobh. Not sure about Internet access for the next two weeks so the blogs may be a bit slower appearing.
Happy 4th of July and Happy Hunting!