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Call to explore your local history

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), in conjunction with the Open University Ireland (OUI) is encouraging people to explore their local history.
Thursday, 22 September 2011

Keeper of the Records, Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, Dr Janice Holmes from the Open University Ireland and Stephen Scarth, Head of Public Services at PRONI are pictured launching a free monthly lecture series which will run from September 2011to April 2012 at PRONI headquarters in Belfast Titanic Quarter.
Keeper of the Records, Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, Dr Janice Holmes from the Open University Ireland and Stephen Scarth, Head of Public Services at PRONI are pictured launching a free monthly lecture series which will run from Sep 2011to Apr 2012 at PRONI hq

PRONI and the Open University will be delivering a free monthly lecture series from September this year to April next year hosted at PRONI’s brand new state-of-the-art Headquarters in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

Commencing on 29 September 2011, the series will be delivered by Dr Janice Holmes, Dr Olwen Purdue and Dr Barry Sheen from the Open University Ireland and will examine the major themes of local history and the sources available to local historians. PRONI staff will present examples of these sources from the archives.

DCAL Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: "This series of lectures between PRONI and the Open University are for members of the community who have not had the opportunity to benefit from Third Level Education so they will not make assumptions about attendees academic knowledge on history or politics.

“PRONI will be bringing history alive through their historical archives, whilst the Open University will be providing the historical context. Local history is very much part and parcel of who we all are, and I encourage anyone with an interest to come along and participate. The lectures are free and cover topics as varied as urban history, religion, crime, poverty and families.”

Dr Janice Holmes, Open University Ireland said: “The Open University in Ireland is proud to be working in partnership with the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland as it begins its first year in its new headquarters in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. The Open University in Ireland hopes that these lectures will enable people to develop their passion for local history and to give them the skills they will need to access the fascinating sources and documents within PRONI and other local archives.”

The lectures, which are free of charge (but booking is essential), will start at 6.30pm in the Lecture Theatre of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. They will take place on the last Thursday of each month, apart from December, and will run until April 2012. The series is as follows:

  • 29 September: What is Irish Local History?
  • 27 October: Poverty.
  • 24 November: Industrialisation.
  • 26 January: Crime.
  • 23 February: Religion.
  • 29 March: Urban History.
  • 26 April: Families.

For more information visit the PRONI website  or call 028 90 534800. Bookings for the lecture series can be made by sending an email to proni@dcalni.gov.uk

Notes to editors:

  1. PRONI was established under the Public Records Act (NI) 1923 for the reception and preservation of public records. The 1923 Act also made provision for the deposit of private records in PRONI.
  2. PRONI’s records cover every aspect of life from the Minutes of Cabinet Meetings to records of a local corner shop – from the thoughts and actions of the ‘great and the good’ to the reminiscences of the working man. The oldest document is a 13th Century Papal Bull.
  3. The Open University in Ireland promotes educational opportunity and social justice by providing high-quality university education to all who wish to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential. Through academic research, pedagogic innovation and collaborative partnership it seeks to be a world leader in the design, content and delivery of supported open learning.
  4. Media enquiries to Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure Press Office, Tel: 028 9051 5045 or email: communications@dcalni.gov.uk Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Office via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.