PRONI enquiry service

If you're unable to visit PRONI in person and have questions about their archive, the PRONI enquiry service can help provide advice and guidance and offers fee-paying copy and Search Services.

About PRONI enquiry service

PRONI's enquiry service provides free advice and guidance about the records held in response to written/ email enquiries.  PRONI also offers fee-paying services including  a Search Service and a Copy Order Service. 

Free advice and guidance

PRONI will answer general enquiries about PRONI records free of charge - for example, if you're asking if PRONI hold records of a particular school, church or landed estate.  PRONI can also provide information on their services, programme of talks, workshops and events.

Fee paying services

PRONI also offers fee-paying services in response to remote enquiries, including a Search Service and a Copy Order Service. 

Search Service

The aim of the PRONI Search Service is to provide that vital piece of information to assist you with your own research.  A straightforward search can help you to verify existing family knowledge, find the ‘missing link’ overlooked on previous research visits, or just give you a basic starting point.

The Search Service offered is limited to requests for specific information in clearly identified archives.  For example, a baptism, marriage or burial entry in a particular church record.  A search fee will cover a search for an individual or event within a particular archive over an identified 10 year period.  There is a maximum of five searches per request.

Before PRONI undertakes any searching they will confirm with you what to look for and the records they'll be using.  Only when this has been agreed and payment has been received does PRONI go ahead with your order.

PRONI fees are based on the time spent to carry out a search or copy order and not on the results.

The cost agreed is for undertaking the requested search and no guarantee can be given that the required information will be found.  There are no refunds for unsuccessful searches.

The search fee includes a complimentary reference paper/digital copy of any result found.  If you would like a high resolution paper/digital copy of a search result, there may be additional reprographic costs (see table below). Any more copying/ costs would be agreed with you beforehand.

PRONI does not:

  • offer a comprehensive genealogical service
  • do research - for example, PRONI will not interpret the content or relevance of documents to your particular interests
  • do ‘speculative’ searches - for example, PRONI cannot provide details of every individual with a particular surname that appears on a register/ record

If you wish someone to carry out research on your behalf, you could consider contacting an independent commercial researcher.

Copy Order Service

The Copy Order Service provides copies of records based on the specific PRONI references provided by the customer. 

There is a copy administration fee plus the cost of reprographics, and any additional costs such as special attention order costs and/or postage and packaging if required. 

Searching is not part of a copy order

  • no searching is undertaken by PRONI staff as part of a copy order  
  • PRONI will verify that the record copied matches the document reference you have identified
  • PRONI cannot verify the content of the record or confirm if it's relevant to your research

Certification

You can also request that copies of PRONI documents be certified for legal purposes. Certification fees are charged per page (price listed below).

Identifying what records might be relevant to your research

You can search PRONI’s eCatalogue or our various guides to PRONI records which will help you attain a PRONI reference number for your search or copy request.

If you are still unsure which records are relevant, write to PRONI outlining your research query and they'll advise further (see free advice and guidance above).

How to request a search

To request a search, you can contact PRONI by e-mail or letter (details below) or alternatively complete a PRONI Enquiry form.

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
2 Titanic Boulevard
Titanic Quarter
Belfast
BT3 9HQ

Email: proni@communities-ni.gov.uk

Telephone: 028 9053 4800

Any contact details you give will be processed in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. Further information can be found on the DfC Privacy Notice.

Don't send any money until PRONI contacts you to let you know if they hold the relevant records needed to go ahead with a search.

Costs

Based on the information you provide, PRONI staff will advise if we can offer a fee-paying service and provide an indication of the cost.  Their fees are based on work involved and any additional costs, such as specialist copying, certification and postage. 

The charges for PRONI’s enquiry service depend on how complex the query is. Standard search and copying fees are listed below.

Type of fee

Fee                  

Fee ex-VAT                

Search fee

A search fee will cover PRONI staff searching for the required information in a particular archive (excluding any additional fees owed), over an identified 10 year period, for each 15 minutes expended. (Fee includes a complimentary reference paper/ digital copy of any result found).

 

 

 

 

    

     £23.90

 

 

 

   

    £19.92   

Copy administration fee

A copy administration fee (per up to five items ordered/ 15 minutes staff time expended).                                                               

Plus

One or more of the reprographic (copy) charges below.          

 

 

 

 

     £11.20

 

 

 

      £9.33

Reprographic fee for paper copies

Fee                  

Fee ex -  VAT

A4/A3                                                                                                                            

       £4.80

       £4.00

A2

      £12.90

      £10.75

A1

      £17.90

      £14.92

A0       £27.80

      £23.17

Reprographic fee for digital copies                                            

Fee                

Fee ex - VAT              

New digital image

       £4.70       

       £3.92

Digital image already held by PRONI                                          £3.40        £2.83

Certification of paper copies                                                                                 

Fee                        

Fee ex- VAT       

Certification per paper page        £3.80        £3.17
Postage                                                                                         

Minimum charge £1 

You can find more information about charges on the PRONI web pages

If you have the chance to visit PRONI in person, there are no charges for carrying out your own personal research. If you are visiting PRONI note, you need to be a registered visitor to research the archives.  To register, remember to bring photographic identification.  Once registered, you must bring your Visitor Pass each time you visit PRONI for research. For more about visiting PRONI and registration, go to Your visit pages.

 

 

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