The National Photographic Archive has 2 locations, the main one being at Kildare Street while the other venue is in Temple Bar where most of the temporary exhibitions are held. The National Photographic library consists of some 5 million images, mostly of Ireland which feature scenery, portraits and early tourism pictures. With the anniversary of the 1913 Lockout in 2013 there has been a big emphasis on portraying the Workers Lives with images shot in Dublin City centre stage. Most people visiting the National Library do so to try and trace their Irish ancestors, they have a whole department there ready and willing to assist you. But, as always the more background information you can gather yourself the better they will be able to help you.
And do give the folk at the National Photographic Archive a bit of notice, you need to get a Readers Ticket to access the reading room, which is free and only takes a few minutes, but you will need identification. Also please not that the Reading Room is only open for limited times on tuesday, wednesdays and thursday, although if you ask nicely they will let you have a peek at the wonderful architecture outside of those days. And again if you want to view photographs of a particular era or area, you can search the archives online or drop them an email with your requirements. My advice is definitely not to show up, they are very busy and the more notice they get the better they will be able to accommodate you. However the exhibitions at both venues are free with the long term Life and Time of the poet William Butler Yeats being the most popular.
10 Hidden Gems near the National Library
1 Take a stroll in Merrion Square Park, local artists hang their work on the railings for sale on sundays.
2 Peer through the gates of Government Buildings at Leinster House.
3 Visit the ESB reconstruction of a Georgian House at No 29.
4 Have afternoon tea or a drink in one of Dublin's poshest hotel The Merrion.
5 Visit Trinity College and have a walk around the famous quadrangle and perhaps visit the Book of Kells and the Long Hall.
6 Buy your Dad a pipe, some tobacco or cigars in the lovely old Petersons Shop established in 1865, on Grafton St,opposite the front entrance and to the left.
7 Have your picture taken with the statue of Molly Malone or the Tart with the Cart as we call her, its at the top of Grafton St.
8 Grafton Street, is Dublins most prestigious shopping street and Brown Thomas the jewel in its crown.Brown Thomas Christmas windows are the best in Dublin.
9 Have coffee and sticky buns in Bewleys Oriental Cafe, it is a legend in Dublin, you will understand when the aroma of freshly roasted coffee wafts out to greet you.
10 Feed the ducks in St Stephens Green, Dubliners have been doing it for generations now, myself included.