Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Latest PRONI forum news from Northern Ireland

I was unfortunately unable to attend last Friday's stakeholders forum at PRONI in Belfast (www.proni.gov.uk), but the team have very kindly sent a copy of the minutes through, and there's a few nuggets that may be of interest.

In terms of the 19th century National Schools grant aid application records (1832-1889) that are currently being digitised, the team are currently working on records for County Down, with County Antrim and one other county soon to be completed also. These will be added to the archive's electronic catalogue when the next version of that goes live. Here's the description from the PRONI catalogue, with the collection held under ED/1: 

In September 1831, the Commissioners of National Education were established to administer a fund of 30,000 per annum placed at the disposal of the Lord Lieutenant for the education of the poor in Ireland. They were empowered to make grants to local schools on condition that part of the required sum was raised locally and in addition they supervised the work of the schools, supplied textbooks and trained teachers. This class of records which bears the PRONI reference number ED/1, consists of 33 volumes of applications made to the Commissioners for grants for building schools, payment of teachers, provision of textbooks, equipment etc. The applications were made on printed questionnaire forms (occasionally accompanied by correspondence), which were filed and bound together in date order and arranged county by county. They cover the period 1832-1889. ED/1/1 to ED1/28, are available on microfilm and bear the reference number MIC/548, Reels 1 to 52. The National Archives in Dublin hold a few unbound applications from Counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh and Meath, as well as a volume of Rejected Applications from Ulster schools for the period 1868-72.

PRONI is currently looking to repeal some rules and regulations in terms of preservation and issue, and to implement a Code of Conduct at the facility, which visitors will need to sign when registering. In addition they are also revising their fees. This will all hopefully go out to a public consultation later this year in September, with a view to any changes being implemented by March/April of next year. A new copyright form is to be issued when you receive a production in the reading room, which needs to be signed upon collection.

In terms of work on collections held, some 91% of the Northern Irish version of the National Identity Register from 1939 has now been indexed, which will greatly assist the archive in processing applications (at the moment this is via Freedom of Information requests, free of charge). The archive is also processing some new acquisitions from the Ulster Orchestra, and is currently cataloguing some 17th century Reformed Presbyterian Church records, records from Killinchy Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church, the Kevin Boyle Papers (D3296) and the major collection of Londonderry papers. An interesting question asked was whether PRONI takes in family trees when it deals with new accessions - the answer interestingly enough is no, because PRONI cannot verify the information supplied.

(With thanks to PRONI)


The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

No comments:

Post a Comment