Located in Belfast, PRONI is a government organisation founded in 1923 (shortly after the partition of Ireland). It now operates as part of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL).
PRONI holds a rich and diverse collection of archives which, in essence, tell the story of Northern Ireland’s political, industrial, cultural, social and community history. Archives can be used to enhance the education and learning process at all levels - school pupils, students, teachers, university lecturers, academics and life-long learners can all benefit. PRONI organises or participates in talks, events and exhibitions, often in conjunction with other local organisations.
PRONI also holds many valuable sources for family history research. Family history researchers at all levels will find valuable information in the Your Family Tree Series of leaflets. There are 28 leaflets in total, each giving information on various archives which can be used for genealogical research. The Ulster Covenant archive and Freeholders records held by PRONI have been digitised and indexed and are available on the PRONI website. These online archives are fully searchable and have links to digitised images of the original documents.
The archives at PRONI offer a wealth of information of great relevance to the revised post-primary curriculum. The new area of ‘Learning for Life and Work’, which includes local and global citizenship, employability, personal development, religious education and home economics, can all be explored in the archives. PRONI has reached out to embrace the innovations in education and learning and produced an online learning resource relating to World War II and its effect on Northern Ireland. This resource has been incorporated into a joint PRONI/Northern Ireland Museums Council website that brings together material from local museums, libraries and other organisations. Only archival sources relating solely to Northern Ireland are used. This resource may be viewed at www.secondworldwarni.org.