Research appointments at PRONI
PRONI is open to the public by prior appointment only. You must request a research appointment and have received a booking confirmation from PRONI in advance of your visit.
PRONI is open to the public by appointment only.
Bookings for new appointments will open every Monday at 1pm and close on Thursday of the same week at 1pm.
Requesting a research appointment at PRONI
PRONI is currently operating a limited onsite public service. Advance booking is one of a number of changes to PRONI services which have been put in place to ensure the health and safety of staff and visitors during the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic.
Registered PRONI visitors can request a new research appointment at PRONI (to view original records/microfilms) using the revised procedures below. Bookings for new appointments will open every Monday at 1pm and close on Thursday of the same week at 1pm. You must request a research appointment at PRONI and have your booking confirmed by PRONI in advance of your visit.
Research appointments previously cancelled due to the enhanced restrictions are being rescheduled for dates from 24 May 2021. Visitors affected will be contacted by PRONI directly.
You must be a registered PRONI Visitor in order to request a research appointment at PRONI.
PRONI will only confirm bookings where a valid PRONI Visitor Number is entered on your appointment request form and you will need to bring your Visitor Pass to your appointment. Request forms without a valid Visitor Number will be automatically rejected.
If you are a new visitor you will need to register for a PRONI Visitor Pass before you can request a research appointment. If you are a registered visitor but have lost your PRONI Visitor Pass, you will need to request a replacement PRONI Visitor Pass before requesting a research appointment, even if you can remember your Visitor Number.
You can request one research appointment per week.
Bookings for new appointments will open every Monday at 1pm and close on Thursday of the same week at 1pm. Appointment dates made available are for three weeks later (to enable PRONI to check the record references you have submitted, order your documents and place them in quarantine in advance of your visit). Appointment slots are available to request on a first-come, first-served basis.
You must submit item level PRONI references, which are listed as 'open' in the access field, for the records you want to see on your appointment request form. You will have 30 minutes to complete and submit your appointment request form before the system times out and the slot you selected is made available again on Eventbrite. It is therefore advisable that you make a list of the record references you wish to pre-order before selecting a research appointment slot.
Each appointment is for one registered visitor only. You will not be able to bring anyone with you unless they book a separate visit themselves on the same day.
Research facilities are located on the first floor of the PRONI building. You can use the lift (one person at a time to allow for social distancing) or stairs to access the first floor. If you have a disability or injury which would prevent you from using the stairs to exit the building during an emergency evacuation, please record this in the field provided on the appointment request form. A member of PRONI staff will contact you to discuss your requirements and can facilitate your research appointment on the ground floor if appropriate.
You can access up to TEN items per research appointment, which must be pre-ordered when completing the online appointment request form.
You can access a maximum of TEN items (physical records, e.g. documents, photographs, microfilms etc.) from PRONI’s collections per appointment. Your ten items can include a maximum of FIVE microfilms (including self-service microfilms from the Search Room which is currently closed to the public).
You can also submit up to THREE reserve items on your appointment request form. For a number of reasons (outlined further below) some of the records you have requested may not be available to consult. PRONI will review the items on your reserve list to use as substitutions where possible.
In addition, you can also select to have access to either:
- digital PRONI records (e.g. digitised church records, Prisons Memory Archive) via the onsite electronic catalogue, or
- online resources including PRONI’s Find My Past public access subscription
Access to electronic resources will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis as appointments are requested.
You will need to consult the PRONI eCatalogue and identify item level PRONI references for the specific records you want to see in advance of making an appointment request.
One ‘item’ level PRONI reference, which is ‘open’ for public access, should be listed per Item Reference/Reserve Item Reference field.
You should contact PRONI (by email/letter) in advance of requesting a research appointment if:
- a record you want to view is marked as 'closed' for public access.
- a record you want to view is not catalogued to 'item' level
Requesting probate records
If you want to view a will or letters of administration, you should include the following information in the Item Reference field (instead of a PRONI reference):
- name of deceased
- date of death
- date of probate (if known)
- probate registry (or address at time of death if registry unknown)
Watch our video ‘how to’ guide on using the PRONI eCatalogue for information including how the PRONI eCatalogue is structured, searching and browsing and identifying item level record references.
You can also book a place on an online ‘preparing for a research appointment at PRONI’ workshop. These will be running regularly and will explain the appointment request system, how to use the eCatalogue, and will also include a Q&A session if you have a particular query.
PRONI will confirm your appointment date and arrival time.
Submitting a request form does not constitute a booked appointment until you have received a confirmation email from PRONI. PRONI will validate your Visitor Number and review your document requests before confirming your appointment. Your request may be cancelled if:
- you have not provided a valid Visitor Number
- you have requested more than one appointment per week
- you have not submitted detailed record references for your advance document order
The limited number of appointments at PRONI are in high demand, so please be considerate of others. Submitting an invalid request form will result in cancellation and may prevent someone else from requesting a research visit within the booking deadline.
PRONI staff may contact you to clarify record references before confirming your appointment.
Your appointment will be confirmed by email. The PRONI building will be open between 10.00am and 4.00pm and you will be allocated an arrival timeslot between 10.00am and 11.20am to facilitate social distancing. Your appointment will last for the whole day thereafter, however documents must be returned to the Issue Desk no later than 3.30pm.
You will be allocated a desk in the Reading Room when you visit - there will be no access to the Search Room. There is currently no access to printed reference material from the Search Room or GRONI terminals.
PRONI will confirm which requested records will be available to consult during your visit.
Once item references have been confirmed, PRONI staff will review the medium, location, condition and quarantine status of requested records. You may not be able to access one or more of the records you wish to consult for a number of reasons, including if the record is:
- held in off-site storage
- not physically fit for production
- affected by a period of quarantine on the date of your intended visit
If one or more records from your main list is unavailable, PRONI will review items on your reserve list.
You must notify PRONI if you wish to cancel an appointment, even if that is on the day of your scheduled visit.
The limited number of appointments at PRONI are in high demand, so please be considerate of others. We may be able to re-allocate early cancelations to other visitors, and can make the documents you no longer require available to other visitors sooner. Failure to notify PRONI that you will not be attending a confirmed visit may result in cancellation of future appointment requests.
Attending a research appointment at PRONI
On the day of your visit, please adhere to your allocated arrival time as closely as possible. This will help ensure social distancing between you and other visitors.
When visiting the PRONI building you will be required to wear a face covering at all times, except when eating/drinking refreshments at one of the tables provided on the ground floor.
See changes to PRONI services for further information in advance of your visit.