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Privately deposited archives

Selection of guides available in the PRONI search room Volumes in a PRONI strongroom Visitors conducting research in the PRONI reading room
A large percentage of Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) archives comprise records which have been privately deposited.  These originate from a variety of sources such as local political parties, private individuals and organisations, business, churchs and landed estates.
As opposed to public records (which generally exist as standard files and volumes) privately deposited archives may come in any number of forms and materials, including:
  • letters, journals, diaries and volumes
  • photographs and albums
  • different types of paper
  • parchment
  • microfilm
  • glass plate negatives
  • tapes
  • videos
Collections deposited by private individuals or private institutions are catalogued with reference prefixes indicating the type/origin of the archive.  For example, the reference prefix D indicates an original document; the prefix T a transcript or photocopy; the prefix MIC a microfilm copy; the prefix DIO diocesan records and the prefix CR church records etc.
Privately deposited archives include:
  • Business records
  • Census records
  • Church records
  • Emigration records
  • Pedigrees and genealogical records
  • Landed Estate records
  • Newspapers
  • Photographs
  • Political papers
  • Family papers
  • Solicitors’ papers
  • Wills and testamentary papers
  • Sporting association papers
Lengthy introductions to some of our most significant private collections have been compiled and are available online.  These introductions generally summarise the contents of the archive, but moreover give a wealth of information about the family or organisation who created the archive.

Further Information