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Tourism: Northern Ireland

Volume 691: debated on Thursday 26 April 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure has for genealogy as a tourism attraction. [HL3187]

A major project to make the catalogues of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) available and searchable online will be available before the end of 2007 that will open up PRONI's archives to a worldwide audience and particularly for genealogical research. All of PRONI's holdings of ordnance survey maps that will help the overseas visitor to locate where their family came from will shortly be made available online.

In addition, PRONI is currently redesigning its website, which will include specific pages on genealogy that will guide the overseas visitor to the archives available in PRONI for genealogical research. Genealogy will also feature at the Smithsonian festival in Washington in June and July this year, which will be a unique opportunity to promote genealogy.

Both PRONI as a division of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Centre for Migration Studies, partially funded by the department, as well as the Ulster Historical Foundation, will be taking part.