Explore curated stories of art in Ireland and connect with our rich archives

Source is the National Gallery of Ireland's online resource providing access to its collections of archives and ephemera associated with the history of art in Ireland. Through Source we provide an online space for people to discover, connect and engage with our growing collection of art archives. There are currently over 16,000 records on Source and around 6,000 associated images. These are available for re-use and can be downloaded for research and educational purposes.

The Project and Stories

Research Collections

Irish Art Archive

Comprising a variety of primary and secondary material relating to over 2,500 individual artists and more then 1,000 arts organisations, the collection documents and represents aspects of the life and work of many of the people and organisations that have contributed to the development of Irish art and its history. This includes celebrated artists such as Paul Henry, William Orpen, Walter Osborne, Sarah Purser, Mary Swanzy, and Jack B. Yeats as well as the many arts organisations, galleries, historians and critics associated with the production, exhibition and interpretation of art in Ireland.

Explore the ESB CSIA Irish art archive collections

Yeats Archive

The Yeats archive consists of a prestigious collection of material donated to the Gallery by Anne Yeats in 1996 and several additional collections acquired since. These collections relate to Jack B. Yeats and members of his extended family. Highlights include the artist's sketchbooks, books from Yeats’s own library, a collection of journals, theatre programmes, original manuscripts, photographs, postcards and letters, as well as general memorabilia such as the artist’s easel and smock. This collection also includes material relating to Yeats's wife Mary Cottenham Yeats, and an extensive collection of old ballads, ballad books and maps.  In addition, the archive holds material pertaining to other members of the Yeats family including W.B. Yeats, John Butler Yeats, his sisters Susan Mary ('Lily') and Elizabeth ('Lolly'), niece Anne Yeats and cousin Ruth Pollexfen. The Cuala and Dun Emer Presses are also well represented.

Explore the Yeats Archive 

Gallery Archive

The Gallery archive contains the official records of the institution and reflects the history of the Gallery from the 1850s to the present day. This is a valuable source for those interested in the development of the Gallery and its involvement in Irish cultural affairs since its foundation. The collection includes detailed archives relating to the establishment of the Gallery and the work of the Irish Institution; a complete set of minute books recording meetings of the Board since 1855; records documenting the development of the Gallery's collection including registers of paintings, prints, sculpture etc. The archive also contains papers relating to the Directors and staff of the Gallery such as Hugh Lane, Thomas McGreevy, Brinsley MacNamara and James Stephens. Information on the development of the Gallery building and architectural plans also form part of the archive.

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Interpreting the Collections

A range of curated stories, authored by people with different interests in the field of art history are available through Source. Source stories offer new and unique insight into items from the collections, highlighting interesting events and relationships in the lives of those who have contributed to the development of art in Ireland.