New Public Record Office to Open in March 2011
Culture Minister Nelson McCausland today announced that the new Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) will open to the public on 30 March 2011.
Speaking from the new state-of-the-art facility in Titanic Quarter the Minister said: "In September 2009, we reported that the new PRONI headquarters was due to open in May or June 2011 following the removal and relocation of over 40km of unique, irreplaceable and some priceless, documents. It is therefore a fantastic achievement, through the careful planning, dedication and hard work of my staff and our partners, that the new PRONI is opening well ahead of schedule."
Almost 90% of the records, which amount to over three million items, have now been placed in the four purpose built storage facilities which form the core of the new building. Upon completion of the move of the various collections, PRONI staff will undertake a full stock take to both ensure that all the records have arrived safely and that they are stored correctly in readiness to be ordered by the public when the building opens.
As Keeper of the Records for Northern Ireland, Minister McCausland added: "The Northern Ireland Executive has committed around £29million to this project to provide Northern Ireland with a building which befits PRONI's position as one of the three National Archival Institutions in the United Kingdom.
"The new record office will provide larger and better facilities for the access of PRONI's records. Through widening access all sections of the community will have the opportunity to experience a greater awareness and ownership of this part of their cultural heritage."
Interest in personal history such as tracing family trees and in local history is on the increase. The location of the new building will mean much easier access for local, national and international visitors and will formally put PRONI on the map as a 'must experience' tourist attraction