Madill Archive Project
The Madill Archive Project aimed to locate, preserve, document and make publicly accessible material relating to maritime heritage and traditional Irish boats.
The project was delivered by a partnership between Ulster University, PRONI, National Museums Northern Ireland, Marine Division, DAERA and Ulster Maritime Heritage and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The main aim of the project was to make a maritime archive created by Portstewart-born Harry Madill freely available to the public. Harry created the archive in response to his realisation that traditional fishing and sailing craft around the coast of Ulster were fast disappearing. The archive relating to the project is held at PRONI and comprises a number of elements.
Boat Surveys (D4790/1)
Drawing on his engineering background, Harry created surveys relating to 34 individual traditional wooden fishing and sailing vessels or vernacular vessel types. These surveys include Harry's own meticulous line drawings, all of which have been digitised.
The digitised drawings are available to access through the PRONI onsite catalogue and the eCatalogue. The remaining survey papers, which include research papers and photographs, will be accessible onsite at PRONI at the end of August 2023.
Harry took over 5000 photographs of traditional craft and recorded a wealth of information in relation to individual vessels and vessel types. All of these photographs have been fully catalogued and a sample have been digitised.
The digitised photographs and a further 400 digital photographs from the collection of Dr Robin Ruddock will be available through the PRONI onsite catalogue and the eCatalogue at the end of August 2023. The remaining photographs will be accessible onsite at PRONI.
Oral History (D4790/3)
The archive includes oral history interviews conducted by Harry with fishermen and those working in maritime industries. Recordings relating to three individuals have been fully transcribed.
These transcriptions and the audio recordings will be available through the PRONI onsite catalogue and eCatalogue at the end of August 2023. Further recordings will be made available at the end of December 2023.
Reference Material (D4790/4)
A range of reference materials and reports on boats and fisheries compiled or written by Harry Madill will be catalogued and made available at the end of December 2023.
Madill Archive Project (D4790/5)
A key project output was a filmed oral history recording of Harry Madill conducted by Dr Wes Forsythe, Ulster University. A transcript of this interview is available through the PRONI onsite catalogue and eCatalogue. At present, the interview itself is only accessible through the PRONI onsite catalogue.
Searching the Madill Archive
You can search the Madill Archive on the eCatalogue under the catalogue reference number D4790. By selecting the 'Browse' options, you can navigate within the different sections of the archive. You can also search using key words such as 'yawl', 'skiff', 'currach', 'drontheim' etc.