PRONI Launches Special '100 Treasures' Publication

A new special publication has been launched by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) to mark the end of its centenary year.

'PRONI 100 Treasures' features a selection of 100 fascinating documents, dating from 1219 to the present day. It documents the interesting and important items which now form part of the public record.

The publication highlights the many different facets of life across the island of Ireland and spans key historical events such as the Plantation of Ulster, the Irish Famine, and the creation of Northern Ireland from a range of perspectives.

Speaking during a tour of PRONI, Communities Minister and Keeper of the Records, Gordon Lyons said: "Falling within the remit of my Department, PRONI is the official national archive for Northern Ireland. It was established a century ago to document history, but it has become witness to a myriad of events which have shaped this country into the place it is today.

"Within its walls are the official public record. PRONI holds the unique stories of our people, our communities and our place in the world.

"PRONI is a vital source of research for many people including students, family history researchers and the general public and I look forward to seeing what treasures the next century will bring. PRONI first opened its doors to the public in March 1924. To mark the centenary, PRONI has carried out a number of special events throughout the year."

These included visits by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, US Special Envoy for Northern Ireland Joe Kennedy III and a dinner for the annual conference of the Archive Records Association of the UK & Ireland.

The celebrations concluded with an event entitled 'The Future of Archives: The next 100 years' which looked forward to the next chapter in PRONI's storied history.

Some featured documents include: Kinelarty Estate Maps, 1782 (PRONI ref D2253/1), Travel Journal of Lady Londonderry, 1841-42 (PRONI ref D654/B/7/1/3) and The Beatles at the King's Hall, Belfast, 1964 (PRONI ref D4542/2/1/1-8)

Concluding, Minister Lyons said: "When PRONI was established, it had no records - it now holds over three million and is a treasured national institution.

"Celebrating its 100-year anniversary is a great achievement for PRONI and I commend all the people – both staff and benefactors – who have played a part in preserving history. I am pleased to mark this occasion and I am confident that PRONI will continue to be the trusted custodian of Northern Ireland's community memory."

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