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Organising a group visit

Reading Room PRONI sign
PRONI welcomes groups of visitors.  Please get in touch to request an introductory talk and/or a guided tour as part of your group visit.

Introductory Talks

PRONI offers talks in the following areas, illustrated with examples of archival documents:
  • Starting with Primary Sources
  • Tracing Your Family Tree at PRONI
  • Online Sources for the Family or Local Historian
  • Major Sources at PRONI
  • in-depth studies of particular types of archive and how to use them, including maps, workhouse records etc.
An introductory talk will help you get started, or showcase our key archives to help you understand the range of sources available at PRONI.  A talk will last around 40 minutes.
All our talks are delivered in the lecture room at PRONI, which accommodates up to 100 people and is located on the ground floor. A number of specialist lectures are also delivered by PRONI staff and guest speakers in conjunction with other local organisations.

Guided Tours

Research Facilities
A tour of our research facilities will provide an introduction to the services we provide and what is available onsite. It allows you to become familiar with building layout, the electronic catalogue, and find out how to order a document for consultation.  A guided tour will last around 30 minutes.
Practical Sessions
You can request a practical session in our Reading Room to gain hands-on experience of original records.  A practical session will introduce what a primary source is, and help you consider what types of documents are available, who produced them, and when they were written/produced.  If you are interested in a specific type of record, we can showcase key examples.
We also provide a guided tour of our current exhibitions. Please refer to our Exhibitions page for further details.

Recent Groups

We have hosted various groups, including:
  • Community groups
  • Family and local history societies
  • Essential skills groups
  • Lifelong learning groups
  • University and college groups
  • School groups and many more

Making a Booking

Please provide the following information when organising a group visit:
  • Name, telephone number and/or email address of the organiser.
  • The number in your group.
  • How long you want your visit to last.
  • What combination your group would like: talk, or talk and tour.
  • If any of your party have a disability or have special needs.
  • Whether your group intend to do some research as well as a talk/tour.
When organising a school visit, please note the following in your request:
  • the number of pupils and teachers/supervisors who will be attending
  • a list of names of pupils and teachers (in the event of an evacuation of the building)
  • Key Stage of pupils
  • the topic or period in history in which you are interested
  • Would you like PRONI staff to devise a workshop or presentation?
  • How long you want your visit to last
  • if there are any pupils with special needs


Feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements.  As PRONI’s group visits are popular, please contact us at least three weeks in advance of your proposed visit.  We look forward to greeting you.

What happens when I arrive?

When you arrive at the reception area you will be shown to the lecture theatre, exhibition area or meet your onsite guide, depending on what option you have chosen.
In the case of visiting schools, it may sometimes be necessary to split the class into 2 groups and we require a teacher or supervisor to be with each group during the whole visit.
If you want to use the research facilities at PRONI following the talk or event or at some time in the future, you must register as a visitor.  Registration is free but you will need photographic ID to receive your visitor pass, you can do this when you first arrive or after the talk/event.
If a group want to register as visitors then we can send out registration forms prior to your visit – please contact PRONI in advance.  Registration forms should be completed before you arrive - this will greatly speed up the process at reception.

Security – dos and don'ts

All visitors are asked to place their belongings (other than pencils and notebooks) in a locker.
  • You must refrain from using mobile phones or digital cameras whilst on the premises.
  • Eating or drinking (other than in the PRONI cafe) is forbidden (except for medication required for emergency use).
  • We ask that during tours of the facilities you are as quiet as possible to minimise disruption to other visitors
  • We urge you to treat the irreplaceable archives in our custody with extreme care.
For further details, see dos and dont's.