Acquisitions Policy

The Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich Memorial Library & Archive (CÓFLA) shall acquire by purchase, legacy or donation, published and unpublished items in accordance with its Deed of Trust. That is items relating to the study and research of:

  • Irish History, especially ecclesiastical history
  • Irish Culture, especially the Irish language and Irish games
  • Irish European links and Irish American links
  • with the object of advancing the education of the public.

All acquisitions will be made at the discretion of CÓFLA and in accordance with any terms and conditions for the time being having been set down by the Trustees including, but not exclusive to, those below.


By donating any item, the donor will agree to transfer ownership of that item permanently to CÓFLA. To comply with this the donor should also be prepared to demonstrate that they are entitled to such a claim of ownership and or have authority from the owner to allow the transfer.

CÓFLA will not normally accept items on permanent or long term loan. However, at the discretion of the Trustees such a loan may be considered with the following understanding:

The owner assigns the right to carry out all necessary conservation work as deemed appropriate by CÓFLA and will be expected to make appropriate compensation to CÓFLA at such time that the item may be reclaimed. Compensation shall not be limited to conservation but may also provide for a reasonable charge accrued for the preservation, security and storage of said deposit up to the time of its withdrawal.


In the case of a donation of a manuscript or rare item, the donor may be, within reason, asked to provide proof of provenance.


Where a proposed donation of material is deemed by CÓFLA to be of such a size or scale that acquisition that would not allow for good records management or where transfer would give rise to storage concerns, the Trustees reserve the right to decline all or part of the offer. Acceptance of part of a donation should not be deemed to be an agreement to accept further portions of the same or additional collection without an additional review.


Where an item is deemed to be of such a condition that its acquisition by CÓFLA has the potential to compromise existing collections or where the cost of required work to address such a condition is estimated to be to the detriment of CÓFLA, the Trustees reserve the right to refuse part or all of a proposed donation.

Freedom of disposal

Where an item has been acquired by CÓFLA by way of transfer of ownership, the Trustees reserve the freedom of disposal. In the first instance CÓFLA will make its best endeavour to find an appropriate alternative repository. However, Freedom of disposal will also allow CÓFLA the right to sell or dispose of any item in the collection at the discretion of the Trustees.


CÓFLA exists to provide access to its collections to

‘All persons having an interest in and/or desirous of studying or researching the books and records’ … ‘subject to the regulations for the time being in force’.

The library and archive therefore operates on the assumption that all deposits and donations will be made freely available to the public. Where the donor or CÓFLA has a particular concern in relation to privacy, data protection, security or any other reasonable ground, a collection, or any part thereof, may be deemed closed for a specified period of time. Alternatively, access may be given solely with the expressed permission in writing of the donor or their recognised assignee and always in compliance with statutory obligations as at any time might be in force. CÓFLA will never make available personal information on any living person to a third party without the permission of that person given in writing.