Anyone can deposit records with PRONI, however PRONI can't accept everything that's offered to them. Your records will be assessed by PRONI staff who will select them if they're suitable for deposit.
Documents of interest to PRONI
PRONI is particularly interested in documents that relate to Northern Ireland and reflect the experiences and culture of the people and communities that call this place home. PRONI wants their archive to be reflective of the diverse nature of Northern Ireland society.
To be considered for deposit, your documents may be of any date and can be created by any person or organisation. Letters from emigrants to their families at home have as much historical importance as the correspondence of landed gentry.
Recent and potential deposits include:
- family and other private correspondence
- photographs, diaries, travel journals, scrapbooks
- records created by community groups such as charities, advice centres, and self-help groups
- records created by churches and other places of worship reflecting all faiths
- legal documents
- school registers and roll books
- estate papers, including title deeds, leases, maps and rent rolls
- papers of prominent people from or living in Northern Ireland, such as writers, politicians, business and community leaders or academics
- business records about current or defunct organisations
- papers of political parties and pressure groups
- records held by special interest groups
What PRONI does not accept
PRONI does not normally accept newspapers, books, photocopies, pamphlets and other printed materials. They do not select documents which would duplicate material already in their holdings.
If you wish to enquire about depositing documents, email the Records Management, Cataloguing and Access team. A member of the team will check the historical importance of your documents and advise on the best way forward.
Terms of deposit
Once PRONI has decided to add your documents to their holdings, they will agree the terms of deposit with you. You have three options:
If you donate your documents as an outright gift, PRONI takes over ownership and all responsibility for your documents. However, if you wish, you can retain any copyright that you hold in your documents. PRONI will deal with the terms of access to the documents.
Deposit on loan
If you deposit your documents on 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 PRONI to borrow your documents for copying. PRONI will agree terms of access and re-use of your documents with you before they borrow the documents. PRONI will make digital copies of your documents before returning the originals to you.
How documents are stored
Your documents will be stored in secure, environmentally controlled conditions. Digital documents will be securely stored in the PRONI Digital Repository and processed as necessary.
All documents deposited with PRONI are assigned a unique PRONI reference number and are catalogued in due course.