Irish Art Resources

Irish Art Research Resources

Along with the selection of eJournals on Irish Art the NGI Library and Archives subscribe to, the below list outlines a selection of free online resources that can assist the research of Irish art and design.

Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain & Ireland 1851-1951

Invaluable source of biographical information on British and Irish sculptors over a period of a hundred years. 

The Royal Academy Summer exhibition : a chronicle, 1769-2018

This chronicle of the RA’s exhibitions through digitised scans of their summer show catalogues from 1769-2018. This succession of short, illustrated texts, written by more than ninety art historians, curators, artists, and critics, is designed to highlight key issues, works, or artists from a particular year’s display at the Royal Academy, London.

IMMA Artist Directory 

Irish Museum of Modern Art’s (IMMA) artist directory offers profiles for hundreds of Irish and international artists that they have worked with. This is an ongoing project and is continually being updated therefore some profiles may not be available yet.

IMMA: What is Art?

IMMA have published several valuable resources online, including the ‘What Is_?’ programme, which provides an introduction to some of the key concepts and themes in modern and contemporary art. The programme includes talks, booklets and web-based resources (booklet example available here).


Visual Artists Ireland: Directory of Irish Artists 

An online Artist Directory with biographical information about living Irish artists who have chosen to make their Visual Artists Ireland membership profiles open to the public. There is a useful search feature if you are looking for a particular theme, medium, or type of art practice.

NIVAL Artist Database 

The National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) holds a collection of documentation about Irish art in various media. Information is gathered on artists, designers, galleries, arts organisations and institutions, critics and other related subjects. NIVAL’s website is a useful tool for information about their collections and holds an Artists Database which can often provide information on some lesser known artists. 

Royal Irish Academy: Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks

This 2016 publication was compiled by the Royal Irish Academy in partnership with The Irish Times and contains detailed write-ups on 100 artworks chosen to represent Ireland’s creative output each year from 1916-2015. The publication has recently been made available to download free on the RIA website.

Digital Repository of Ireland

A national digital repository for Ireland’s humanities, social sciences, and cultural heritage data. The website allows you to browse historical and contemporary content from many Irish institutions, including artworks, oral histories, business records, photographs, and ephemera.

National Inventory of Architectural History

The NIAH identifies, records, and evaluates post -1700 architectural heritage of Ireland in order to aid in the protection and conservation of built heritage in Ireland. NIAH surveys provide information to the public and inform recommendations of the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to the planning authorities for the inclusion of particular structures in their Record of Protected Structures (RPS). The NIAH is a useful research and educational resource that promotes public awareness and appreciation of Ireland’s architectural heritage.

The Dúchas Project

The Dúchas Project aims to digitise the National Folklore Collection (NFC) so that the public may have online access to material from the collection. The Dúchas Project also ensures that the NFC has a data management system that allows for material to be continually added to the collection in the future. The project partners include the National Folklore Collection, UCD, the National Folklore Foundation and UCD Digital Library, Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge, DCU and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. 


National Library of Ireland

The NLI database for Irish research, contains over 180,000 catalogue records for Irish manuscripts, and for articles in Irish periodicals. This diverse database can be searched for many subjects including Irish manuscripts held in other libraries and archives in Ireland and worldwide, listed between the 1940’s and 1970s  and articles, reviews and other content that appeared in over 150 Irish periodicals up to 1969. 

Trinity College Library Dublin: Digital Collections

Trinity College Library offers free access to a digital collection of 119,238 treasures including books, maps, paintings, manuscripts and photographs. Online Cultural Resources

This initiative was set up by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and it provides a comprehensive list of online cultural resources in Ireland. The list caters to a wide audience and varying age demographics. Although a lot of resources do not directly link to Irish art research, many do offer context for a wider understanding of Irish culture and heritage.

Scoilnet: Resources for Second Level Students

Scoilnet is the Department of Education and Skills (DES) portal for Irish education. The website is particularly suited to primary and secondary students and contains an art section with a database of online resources including websites, quizzes, lesson plans, notes, video/audio, games and other multimedia. See:


FutureLearn offers a selection of free online courses that span over an array of subjects. Many of these courses offer a backdrop and context for those researching Irish art. Free online courses facilitated by FutureLearn which deal with Irish history, culture and heritage include: