Letters of 1916 is delighted to announce its latest collaboration with a national institution, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI)
PRONI was founded in 1923 shortly after the official foundation of Northern Ireland as the official archive for the new state. PRONI’s aim is to identify and preserve records of historical significance, make them accessible to researchers and ensure that the Northern Irish state meets legal deposit requirements such as Freedom of Information and Data Protection legislation. PRONI’s collection deals largely, though not exclusively, with Northern Ireland and its earliest record dates back to the thirteenth century. PRONI’s public records (records from government department and non-government public bodies) date from 1921 and its earlier documents, including those from 1915 and 1916, all come from collections privately deposited by families, businesses and other organisations.
The PRONI letters currently being made available for transcription in the Letters of 1916 Transcription Desk deal largely with the Great War and the Easter Rising and its impact on the six counties that soon became Northern Ireland. There are letters to and from some of the most important figures in Ulster Unionism, including Sir Edward Carson (1854-1935), Sir Richard Dawson Bates (1876-1949) and Frederick Hugh Crawford (1861-1952). There are also letters home from men in the trenches such as those from Colonel Charles Hezlet of the Royal Artillery to his mother in Aghadowney, County Derry. An Ulster Unionist reaction to the Easter Rising and the ‘Irish question’ can be found among the letters of lawyer and politician Hugh de Fellenberg Montogomery (1844-1924).
We are delighted to be working with PRONI and are most grateful for their support and encouragement.