Wednesday 22 November 2023

PRONI celebrates centenary on library tour of Northern Ireland

As part of its centenary celebrations, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is making a tour of libraries across Northern Ireland.

The idea is to display and discuss historical documents specific to the region at each stop and help locals delve into the history of their area, uncover details of their family tree, and answer questions about records held in PRONI's vast archive.

The first event took place yesterday at Derry Central Library and there was a wide range of material for visitors to explore. The documents included:

  • A letter from Seamus Heaney to fellow renowned poet John Hewitt in September 1966 following the publication of Heaney’s poem Death of a Naturalist.
  • A passenger book of shipping agent J & J Cooke listing the names of those leaving Foyle Port for Philadelphia, Qu├ębec and St. John, New Brunswick between March 1858 and July 1867.
  • A register from Coleraine National School dating back to the late-1800s, noting the names of the male and female pupils who attended between 1872 and 1899.
  • A register from St Eugene’s Convent (formerly St Columb’s Convent) National School, noting the names of the girls who attended the school between 1892 and 1903.
  • A highly decorated map depicting the siege of Londonderry in 1689 (digital viewing only).
  • Footage from the UTV Archive depicting the North West, including 1960s footage of Foyle Street, a 1965 news clip on a four mile long motorcade in support of a university in the city and a piece on Derry’s selection as City of Culture in 2013.

The second tour event will be on Thursday 14 December (10am–4pm) at Enniskillen Library, with further visits, including to Lurgan Library, planned for the New Year. Keep an eye on PRONI's website or check dates on LibrariesNI