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Finding Official Publications

Finding Official Publications

The Irish Official Publications collection contains government publications of the modern Irish State from 1922 to date and is available to all NUI Galway students and staff. The collection is located on the podium floor of the Library and is accessible during Library opening times. 

The collection includes:

  • Publications of Government Departments and Commissions such as annual reports, policy documents, review bodies and other materials from 1922 to date
  • Publications of selected Government Agencies including Central Statistics Office, Revenue Commissioners and Office of Public Works
  • Oireachtas publications including Acts, Bills, Dáil Debates, Seanad Debates, Dáil Committee Reports and Official Reports 

Official Publications may not be borrowed. 

Official Publications are divided into two collections and are located in the compact shelving area on the podium floor of the Library.

  • Official Publications (OP): This collection constitutes of one off reports and publications.
    • Post-1985 material is located in the compact shelving on the ground floor of the Library.
    • Pre- 1985 reports and publications are located in Special Collections. These must be requested and consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room.  
  • Official Publications Serials (OPS): This constitutes runs of Official Publications that are classified as serials.  Most regular annual reports from Government departments and agencies are part of this collection.
    • Post-1985 runs of Official Publications serials are located in the compact shelving.
    • Pre- 1985 runs are located in offsite storage.

The dewey number/shelf mark of Official Publication titles can be located by using the Library Catalogue.

Searching for Official Publications on the Library Catalogue

For example, if you are researching an essay on “Official Drugs Policy in Ireland”:

  • Open the library catalogue and enter the key terms: Drugs Ireland
  • A list of available items will be displayed, a number of which will be clearly listed as available in Official Publications.
  • Note: the Holdings screen will verify exactly where the publication is held i.e. the Official Publications or Official Publications Serials collections
  • These physical collections are clearly marked in the compact shelving on the ground floor
  • As you will see some older pre- 1985 material may not be on open access. This will have to be requested and viewed in the Special Collections reading room.
  • Be aware that having the official name of the report rather than the shorthand title can be very important e.g. the 1958 Whittaker Report is correctly entitled the “First Programme for Economic Expansion"

For your research note that :

  • The catalogue (L&RS) of the Oireachas Library provides the full text of thousands of Irish Official Publications
  • Current Official Publications may be available in full text through the relevant departmental website.

Online Access via Department websites

Note that many of these publications from the last decade and longer will be available online from the relevant departmental website. A full departmental listing is available. Putting the title of the publication or report into Google will often quickly locate the document online as well.  

Fulltext Access via the Oireachtas Library

The Oireachtas Library has digitised all documents laid before the Oireachtas from 1922 to the present day. Most of the major Irish Offical Publications from the beginning of the state including annual reports can be accessed through the Oireachtas Catalogue (L&RS).

Uncatalogued Government Publications

As previously mentioned there is a small amount of uncatalogued material held in the Library basement which we have a card index for. 

Pre-Independence Ireland

Queries about official sources from pre-independence Ireland are normally dealt with by Special Collections. We have a collection of UK statutes from 1800 held in storage and many pre-independence papers of Irish interest are available on the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers online, accessible through the Library Catalogue. We also hold a collection of pre-1800 Irish statutes enacted prior to the Act of Union.