Celebrating Archives: The Archives of the Central Bank of Ireland

Printing the ‘Series B’ £5 Banknotes at the newly opened Currency Centre, Dublin, c.1976.
13 Dec, 2018

Celebrating Archives: The Archives of the Central Bank of Ireland

The Central Bank of Ireland was established in 1943 and is responsible for the management and regulation of the Irish banking system. It was previously the issuer of Irish pound banknotes and coinage, dating back to 1927 when it was known as the Currency Commission, until the introduction of the euro currency in 1999 and now provides this service for the European Central Bank from the Irish Currency Centre.

The Central Bank of Ireland opened its Archive to the public in September 2017 following the Bank’s move from the iconic Dame Street building, built by Irish architect Sam Stephenson, to their new residence on North Wall Quay, Dublin. Our new residence is now home to a purpose built Reading Room that provides access to the Central Bank of Ireland’s archives to the public for the very first time. Prior to this, public access to Archival material had been restricted to a case-by-case basis only. By providing access to the historical records of the Banks’ Archive, the Bank has opened its doors to the public, providing an understanding and an openness it did not previously give forth.

In an effort to further increase transparency and to promote the public understanding of the role and functions of the Central Bank of Ireland, it was decided to make the Banks archive more accessible by launching an online catalogue. The online catalogue provides researchers with detailed descriptions of 40% of the archival material held in the Bank, with ongoing cataloguing on the remaining 60%.

The Banks Archive holdings comprise of over 14,000 paper files, 2,000 Bank publications, 560 architectural plans, approximately 6,000 photographic prints, 250 ledgers and various artifacts, with our earliest record dating back to 1786 (so you can forgive us for being somewhat behind!). The Central Bank of Ireland’s Archive tells the story of economic development and progression in Ireland, the establishment and the design of Irish currency, the services we provide to both the Irish public and internationally, and the day-to-day workings of the Central Bank. The records of the Central Bank of Ireland are not only greatly important for economic research purposes but also for architectural, political, historical, business, numismatic, and social research, and furthermore for our staff.

The Central Bank of Ireland Archives are open Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm. You can view our online catalogue here: http://archives.centralbank.ie/

Clare O'Grady