Tuesday 20 July 2021

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland: Free online talks, Aug-Oct

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland will be hosting some free online talks over the next few months and they include topics sure to be of interest to family and general historians.

The repository's lectures and workshops are often over-subscribed, so I'm listing the upcoming ones while spaces are still available, rather than wait until my regular events summaries when there may be no places left.

Each of the talks listed below will be presented online and, while free, booking is essential. 


Wednesday 11 August: PRONI’s Maritime Connection Archives, with Stephen Scarth, who will explore the many records held by PRONI relating to the maritime history of Belfast and the development of the harbour around which the city has grown. his illustrated talk will showcase maps, photographs, journals, letters, and official files relating to the development of shipbuilding on the River Lagan. It will include examples from the collections of Harland & Wolff, the Belfast Harbour Commissioners and the Ministry of Transport.

Time: 2pm-3pm (BST). Booking.


Tuesday 7 September: Using Ordnance Survey Maps, an online workshop. PRONI holds the original OS archive for the six counties of present day Northern Ireland, including manuscript maps, field sketches and name books, and a range of them is accessible in digital format using the PRONI Historical Maps Viewer. This workshop will introduce basic map reading skills and demonstrate how the Maps Viewer can be used to browse historical OS maps and modern basemaps (including aerial imagery) for all areas of Northern Ireland. A variety of tools and 'widgets' will be demonstrated so you can search, browse, compare and find.

Time: 7pm-8:15pm (BST). Booking.

Tuesday 21 September: D.A. Chart Seminar on Maps 2021 - The Down Survey of the 1650s and the transformation of Ireland, with Micheál Ó Siochrú. The Down Survey (1656-8) played a key role in the transformation of the island, establishing the Protestant Ascendancy that dominated Irish political and economic life for centuries thereafter. Teams of soldier-surveyors measured townlands throughout the country, organised by parish. The resulting cadastral maps, at a scale of 40 perches to one inch (the modern equivalent of 1:50,000), are unique for the time – nothing as systematic or on such a large scale exists anywhere else in the world.

Time: 7pm-8:15pm. Booking.


Wednesday 13 October: The Boer War and its Legacy, with Dr Spencer Jones. The Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) was a bitter and controversial conflict that marked a watershed in the history of the British Empire. Britain had gone to war in 1899 confident of a swift victory against the outnumbered Boer irregulars. But the conflict confounded these expectations. In this talk, Dr Spence Jones will explore the course and conduct of the Boer War and consider its legacy for both Britain and her army.

Time: 8pm-9pm. Booking.