The materials and information held in the Archive are made fully available for reference to all personal visitors, without qualification and free of charge.

Guidance to the collections and catalogues is given by staff, and also general information and consultancy on the music. Services are bilingual in English and Irish, as arises from the nature of the collections. No appointment is needed for a general visit, unless a visit by a small group is intended. It is advisable to ring ahead if you have special requirements or wish to meet with a particular member of staff. Public hours are currently 10 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, late night opening Thursday until 8 pm and one Saturday per month throughout the year, with the exception of Irish public holidays and the period 24 December to 2 January inclusive.

A limited information service is also given directly by phone, post and fax, and remotely through the Internet at Materials and information are also made available through lectures, exhibitions and publications by Archive staff, and through the Archive’s extensive cooperation with the performing, teaching, broadcasting, publishing and archival activities of others. Materials can be copied, but only in accordance with copyright law and Archive resources; users must arrange copyright clearance if necessary.

The book collection, arranged in categories, is on open-access shelving in the main public rooms, except for a reserve collection which is available on request. Listening facilities are provided for sound recordings which can be examined in their storage cabinets. Viewing facilities are available for photographs, videos and DVDs. Other materials are on closed access but can be consulted on request. Entry to the Archive is free of charge; charges are made for some services such as photocopying.

There are certain restrictions on the availability of material. These restrictions may be legal, arising from the provisions of copyright law or from conditions laid down by donors; or practical, arising from the need to preserve and safeguard materials or from staffing limitations. Items cannot be borrowed by individuals, nor are they available through Inter-Library Loan. The Archive reserves the right to refuse access to its collections.

Groups of not more than four can be catered for in the Archive at one time, due to limitations of space and the requirements of other users. The Archive cannot provide lectures on Irish traditional music to school parties or tourist parties.

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Brass plaque at the door of ITMA