The archives service of the James Hardiman Library [link to library] has over three hundred archival collections, mainly relating to the west of Ireland and dating from the fifteenth century to the present day. Collections cover a range of areas including academics papers, business records, college records, Irish language and literature collections, local authority records, landed estate collections, political papers, personal papers and theatre collections. Major collections include the records of Galway Corporation from the fifteenth to the twentieth century, manuscript collections of poetry and folklore gathered by Douglas Hyde, the literary papers of Eoghan Ó Tuairisc, and theatre collections relating to all the major theatre companies based in Galway as well as the Lyric Theatre/O’Malley Archive.

A guide to archival collections is available and is regularly updated. Archives are available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room, where the Special Collections Department hold a range of printed material relating to Irish history and culture.