Stones, Slabs and Seascapes: George Victor du Noyer’s Images of Ireland – the exhibition featuring notebooks and volumes from the RSAI Collection on view in Crawford Art Gallery, Cork 17 November 2017 – 24 February 2018

The exhibition, featuring over 150 watercolours and drawings, celebrates Du Noyer’s extraordinary achievements and commemorate the bi-centenary of his birth. Opening to the public on 17 November, the exhibition is curated by Peter Murray, former Director of the Crawford Art Gallery, in collaboration with Petra Coffey, RSAI Member, and Geological Survey Ireland. Stones, Slabs and Seascapes will feature loans from the collections of the Royal Irish Academy, National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, National Museum of Ireland, Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Geological Survey Ireland and National Archives. All welcome!

The exhibition continues until 24 February 2018.

Curated by Peter Murray

Crawford Art Gallery, Emmet Place, Cork
T: +353 (0)21 480 5042


Would you like to join us?

Membership of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland is open to anyone with an interest in the remit and activities of the Society.

Members are entitled to use the Society’s library, participate fully in all Society events, and receive a copy of the Journal every year. All Members can also avail of JSTOR access and receive several printed and e-newsletters throughout the year.

The Society runs a full annual programme of lectures and talks throughout the year.

In keeping with the traditions of the Society all Membership applications must be approved by the Council of the Society at a General Meeting. General Meetings take place on a monthly basis, except for the summer recess between June and August. Any applicants for Membership are welcome to submit an application form to the Council.

If an applicant wishes they can specify a current Member of the Society as a proposer, but if they prefer their application can be proposed by the Hon. Gen. Sec. of the Society.

An applicant will be requested to pay their membership upon the approval of their application by the RSAI Council.

Applicants are invited to fill out this form:


Online Payment

For the convenience of members, it is now possible to pay membership subscriptions using Paypal or to set up a standing order.

If you wish to pay using Paypal please choose the relevant option from the drop-down menu, then click on the subscribe button below and follow the instructions.


Membership Options

If you wish to set up a standing order please contact us to request a form. We also accept payment of Membership subscriptions by cheque.


The RSAI Library has collections of books and journals relating principally to the local history and antiquities of Ireland, including titles published in the UK and further afield. The library is for the use of members but visitors are welcome and a library card can be purchased by non-members wishing to use the facility on a regular basis. Most of the library’s holdings are housed in the reading room at Society House and are available on open access shelves. The collections are for reference only. All books, pamphlets and electronic resources are catalogued online here.

The Society’s Archives include a comprehensive collection of photographic albums and slides, primarily depicting archaeological sites in Ireland. It also preserves a variety of communications, documents and drawings by notable Irish antiquaries including George Miller, James Robertson and James Graves.

An appointment is necessary, and readers wishing to consult image collections or manuscript material are required to contact the Office in advance of their visit.

Opening hours

The Library currently operates by appointment only, please contact our Office for further information.

Please click here to search our online catalogue.





Celebrating 100 years of Society House

24 January 2018, marks one hundred years since the RSAI’s inaugural event in 63 Merrion Square. It has been our home ever since. As the saying goes, ‘if these walls could talk…’!

The event featured lectures, a reception and even a performance of Irish music. The official report read:

The first Session of the Society in the new home acquired and fitted up during 1917 was opened by a Reception and Conversazione in the evening of Thursday, 24 January, 1918. The guests were received by the President, Mr T.J. Westropp, the Honorary Officers and Members of the Council. About three hundred members and their friends were present. The house, which had been tastefully decorated by the committee of ladies in charge of the arrangements, was open throughout for the inspection of members. On the ground-floor are the office, a commodious reading-room and gentlemen’s cloak-room and lavatories ; on the mezzanine floor is a handsome vestibule, off which is the ladies’ writing-room with lavatories ; on the first floor two large rooms provide suitable accommodation for the Society’s ordinary meetings. Portion of the upper-floors has been fitted up as a residential flat ; the rooms retained for the Society have been fitted as a library and contain the books presented by Dr F. Elrington Ball, Fellow, to whom the Society is indebted not only for this valuable collection, but for all the library equipment, of which he bore the entire cost. On this occasion the reading-room on the ground-floor was set apart for refreshments, and the rooms on the first floor were reserved for lectures and a programme of Irish music. The other rooms were devoted to exhibits of antiquities, many of them of great value and interest, lent by members ; a list will be found elsewhere.[i] Specimens from the unique collection of rubbings of early Irish inscribed and decorated sepulchral slabs, presented by Mr H.S. Crawford, were hung on the walls of the library.

In the course of the evening a lecture on Sepulchral-Brasses, of which representative rubbings were exhibited, was given by Professor R.A.S. Macalister, Vice-President, and a lecture on Antiquities of the Southern and Western Coasts of Ireland, illustrated by lantern views from the collection of slides made for the Society from the negatives of the late Sir R.S. Ball, Astronomer-Royal, through the courtesy of Lady Ball was given by Mr John Cooke, Vice-President.

Not the least interesting feature of this very successful Conversazione was the Irish music, both vocal and instrumental, of which an attractive programme was arranged by Mrs R.I. Best. It included a string-quartet and violin and piano solos. For this the following ladies and gentlemen very kindly gave their services – Miss Kathleen Roddy, Miss E. Alton, Miss F. Tomlinson, Miss Alice Griffith, Miss D. Alton, Miss Rachel Levin, Mr T.W. Hall, and Mr C.W. Wilson.[ii]

[i] “Proceedings”, JRSAI, xlvii, 1918, pp 107-09.

[ii] Ibid., pp 86-7.


The Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (‘Society House’) is located at 63 Merrion Square, in the heart of the historic eighteenth-century South Georgian core of Dublin. Neighbours with some of the nation’s key cultural institutions, including the National Gallery and the National Museum, and situated in one of the most exclusive business addresses, Society House is also minutes away from the city’s premier shopping district.

Although surrounded by streets of fine redbrick terraces, Society House is unique in Dublin, being the only fully intact Georgian town house and garden in the city, from the coal cellars under the front pavement, through to the restored garden and original coach house and stables (now operated as self-catering holiday accommodation) at the rear of the property.

Society House is a unique venue for a range of events: there are two large reception rooms (first floor), a library (ground floor), a 100 seat fully equipped theatre (basement), and a private walled garden. In recent months we have hosted conferences, meetings, book-launches, literature readings and recitals, and pop-up shops. With its spacious reception rooms and beautiful eighteenth-century decoration, is it the perfect venue for boutique weddings and private parties.

For further details or to enquire about rental please contact us here.

Online Collections

In partnership with the Discovery Programme, the RSAI is currently taking part in an EU-funded project called locloud, which is working towards the online publication of the collections of small cultural organisations around Europe.

Our part of the project focuses on our collection of historic lantern slides, and of the drawings and notebooks of George Du Noyer (1817–1869), the noted artist, geologist and antiquary. These collections are being scanned and digitised by a small team of dedicated volunteers.

To view our unique collections please click here.

The Society periodically needs volunteers for this project. If you are interested in gaining experience with image digitisation and metadata please contact the Office for details on upcoming internship opportunities.

Image Purchase

The RSAI image collections are available for use in a wide range of academic and commercial settings. Please contact the Office for information on costs and permissions.

The images are not to be cropped, superimposed with text, or altered in any way from its original form unless prior permission for alteration is received from the RSAI. Alterations may be allowed on a case-by-case basis. If the RSAI does allow cropping of image after review, the image must be credited as a “detail.”

Darkest Dublin

The Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (RSAI) is one of Ireland’s premier learned societies. Established in 1849 with the aim to ‘preserve, examine all ancient monuments and memorials of the arts, manners and customs of the past, as connected with the antiquities language, literature and history of Ireland’, our ethos has always been non-sectarian and non-political, and membership is socially inclusive.

With our roots in recording sites and monuments, and in the practical repair and conservation of historic buildings, today the Society continues many of the activities that were initiated over 160 years ago. These include regular lectures and excursions, and the publication of a peer-reviewed academic journal.

Members are entitled to use the Society’s library which contains books on Irish history, antiquities and archaeological and historical journals published in Ireland, Great Britain and continental Europe.