Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins officially opened the new Military Archives at Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin in 2016, a century after the Easter Rising of 1916. The Military Archives were created as a flagship project, one of seven capital projects which will act as permanent reminders of the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the armed insurrection which changed the course of Irish history. The archives will hold the archival records of the Defence Forces, the Department of Defence and the Army Pension Board.

This new purpose built archive facility allows for the consolidation of all military archives material that is currently stored at a number of locations around the country into one new national facility. It provides secure storage of archive material for circa 70,000 archive boxes, plus providing for the storage of ‘special media’ material, such as videos, film reels, photographs, microfilm, etc., which require specific storage conditions.

22km of Bruynzeel electronic mobile shelving
More than 22km of Bruynzeel electronic mobile shelving, which is designed to the highest international standards and provides an excellent storage environment, is installed over two storeys of this new building with links at two levels to an existing two-storey building of heritage value. The latter was originally designed as a Barracks Hospital and constructed circa 1903. The Barracks Hospital has been sensitively refurbished to provide a library with reading rooms, administration areas, new feature entrance and ancillary facilities for public access to the facility.

Remote access control
The electronic mobile shelving is over 4m high and is serviced by two WAV Machines so archive boxes which are at higher level can be picked safely and with ease. The mobile shelving is supplied with a remote control access via a wireless tablet which is connected to each WAV Machine. A router is installed at every static position to allow connection to the buildings wireless network. The user is able to open an aisle remotely or by using the Bruynzeel app loaded onto the user’s tablet.

Sunk into the ground
Due to height constraints on the site, the new archives block is sunk by ½ storey into the ground, creating a half-basement for the lower storage level.  This new facility has changed a part derelict site and existing unused Barracks Hospital building to an inviting and user friendly building, both for its staff and the visiting public, whilst also enhancing the surrounding community.

I The staff who will occupy this building have been highly complementary of the new facilities and of the benefits that it will bring them in their day-to-day work.


  • 22km of storage shelves
  • 140,000kg’s of steel
  • 1,500 man hours of installation labour
  • 800kg’s loading capacity per bay
  • 8,000kg’s loading per movable carriage
  • Largest movable block is storing 6,765 archive boxes

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