Appointment system - how to visit PRONI

Details of the temporary appointment system currently in operation for PRONI to reopen to the public

There have been some changes to the booking process, so please read the following information carefully before you make your booking.  To book a slot you must select an available date and submit an Advance Order form.

Book an appointment and order documents

PRONI is pleased to announce that the reading room is open to visitors from Monday 24 August 2020. A limited service is on offer to visitors who need access to PRONI's collection of original documents and microfilm for their research.  PRONI visitors must book an appointment and place an order for documents in advance of their visit. 

Visitors should be aware that there are a number of changes to PRONI services which have been put in place to ensure the health and safety of staff and visitors. These changes include quarantining documents after they have been handled by staff and visitors.

Booking Process

Select an available date

Dates will be released every Monday morning.  The earliest date available will always be more than two weeks in advance to allow time for you to submit your advance order for documents and for PRONI to check that the details you have given are correct before your documents are ordered and placed in quarantine. Visitors may only book one slot per week.  Select an available date Tuesday - Friday. Select an available date for a Monday. 

Complete and submit advance order form

You must submit an advance order form within 48 hours of booking your slot.  PRONI will check the availability of the items you wish to view, your order must contain 10 items only which are open, held on-site at PRONI, physically fit for production, and are not affected by a period of quarantine on the date of your intended visit. PRONI will contact you to confirm the final details of your order and your arrival time one week in advance of the date of your booking.  Complete and submit an Advance Order form.

Making your booking

Daily bookings will be available between Monday and Friday.  The PRONI building will be open between 10.00am and 4.00pm and your appointment will last for the whole day, however you will be allocated an arrival slot between 10.00am and 11.20am to facilitate social distancing.  Documents should be returned to the Issue Desk no later than 3.30pm. 

Each booking is for one person only on a first come, first served basis - you will not be able to bring anyone with you unless they book a visit themselves. Please be considerate of others when you book - your booking will be cancelled if you exceed one booking per week.

When you have booked a slot you must complete and submit an Advance Order form listing the item references of the documents you would like to view.  Please bear in mind that the daily opening hours will be shorter than normal, so plan your visit with this in mind.  You must submit the Advance Order form within 48 hours of making your booking.  

For the time being PRONI is not be able to accept bookings from visitors who are not already registered as PRONI visitors, or from registered PRONI visitors who have lost their Visitor Pass.  If an Advance Order form is submitted which does not have a PRONI Visitor Pass number the accompanying booking will be cancelled.

Further information

Self-service microfilm area

There will be no access to the self-service microfilm area, computers, and other reference material located in the Search Room.  If you wish to consult microfilm, this may be ordered in advance using the Advance Order form.  Microfilm reading machines will be located at each table in the PRONI Reading Room to allow visitors to consult microfilm if this is part of an advance document order.

Why PRONI checks your advance order for documents

Your advance order must consist of documents which are open, physically fit for production, held onsite at PRONI, and not affected by a period of quarantine.  If another visitor has already seen a document that you have requested within a certain amount of time before your visit, you will be unable to access to that document while it remains in quarantine.

In addition, PRONI staff will check that the documents you want to order are of a quantity which may reasonably be consulted within the period of your booking slot.  You may be contacted to discuss your advance order.  However the documents which will form the advance order must be agreed no later than two weeks in advance of your visit.

Why your booking may be slot be cancelled

PRONI may cancel your booking if you have booked more than one Reading Room slot in a week, or if your advance order has not be finalised two weeks ahead of your booking slot.  If your booking is cancelled PRONI will contact you to explain why the booking was cancelled.

PRONI item references for the Advance Order form

If you know which items you wish to view you can book your slot in the PRONI Reading Room, and complete and send your Advance Order form.  If you are uncertain about PRONI reference numbers or need assistance clarifying the nature of a particular PRONI item reference please e-mail pronievents@communities-ni.gov.uk for further advice and guidance before proceeding with a booking.

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