Depositing records

Anyone can deposit records with PRONI, however we cannot accept everything we are offered. Your records will be assessed by PRONI staff who will select them if they are suitable for deposit.

What documents are PRONI interested in?

PRONI is particularly interested in documents that relate to Northern Ireland – its land, people, culture and history.

To be considered for deposit, your documents may relate to any date, and they can be created by any person or organization.  Letters from emigrants to their families at home have as much historical importance as the correspondence of landed gentry. 

Recent deposits include:

  • private correspondence
  • photographs, diaries, travel journals
  • records created by community groups such as charities, advice centres, and self-help groups
  • records created by churches or church bodies from all denominations
  • legal documents
  • school registers and roll books
  • estate papers, including title deeds, leases, maps and rent rolls
  • papers of prominent people from Northern Ireland, such as writers, politicians, business leaders or academics
  • business records relating to current or defunct organizations
  • papers of political parties and pressure groups, and
  • records held by special interest groups.

What does PRONI not accept?

PRONI does not normally accept newspapers, books, photocopies, pamphlets and other printed materials.  We do not select documents which would duplicate material already in our holdings.

Who do I contact?

If you wish to enquire about depositing documents, please email the Records Management, Cataloguing and Access team.  A member of the team will evaluate the historical importance of your documents and advise on the best way forward.

Will there be any terms of deposit?

Once we have decided to add your documents to our holdings, we will agree the terms of deposit with you.  You have three options:

Outright gift

If you donate your documents as an outright gift, PRONI takes over ownership and all responsibility for your documents. PRONI will deal with the terms of access and copyright.

Indefinite loan

If you donate your documents on indefinite loan, you will retain ownership of your documents. Terms of access and re-use of your documents will be agreed with you at the time of deposit.

Lend documents for copying

You may allow us to borrow your documents for copying. We will make digital copies of your documents before returning the originals to you.

How will the documents be stored?

Your documents will be stored in secure, environmentally controlled conditions. Digital documents will be securely stored in our Digital Repository and processed as necessary.

All documents deposited with PRONI are assigned a unique PRONI reference number and are catalogued in due course. You will be acknowledged as the depositor.

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