Recovered from the Flames: PRONI and the Creation of Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury

A digital event hosted by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, in conjunction with Beyond 2022
24 September 2020, 2pm to 5pm (+ Hedge School 7- 8:15 pm)

The summer of 2022 will mark the centenary of the explosion and fire at the Four Courts, Dublin, which destroyed the Public Record Office of Ireland (PROI) and, with it, centuries of Ireland’s collective memories. Now, a century later, a community of scholars are attempting to rescue and replace what was lost to the flames.  Beyond 2022 is an all-island and international collaboration, working to build a Virtual Record Treasury for Irish history—an open-access, virtual reconstruction of the Record Treasury that was destroyed in 1922. This model will be used as an interactive tool for engagement and research, whereby visitors will be able to browse the virtual shelves and link to substitute or salvaged records held by archives and libraries around the world.  As one of the successor institutions to the destroyed PROI, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland is one of the core partners of the Beyond 2022 project. 

This September, join us for a virtual research showcase and panel discussion, to learn more about the role that PRONI is playing in the reconstruction of Ireland’s Record Treasury. The event will include talks from scholars on key PRONI collections, explaining how they are being linked to collections from around the world, in order to replace the destroyed archive. There will be a demonstration of the new virtual reading room, allowing users to digitally visit the reading room of the PROI that was destroyed. The event includes a live broadcast from the present-day PRONI reading room, with staff presenting some of the jewels of the archive. The day will conclude with a History Ireland Hedge School at 7pm that evening, as a panel of historians and archivists respond to Winston’s Churchill’s quote, on the destruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland in 1922, that ‘a State without archives is better than archives without a State’.

Registration is necessary for this event.

To register, simply follow the Eventbrite link for the event at