Recently I had the opportunity to visit the Public Records Office Northern Ireland in Belfast. As I am from Northern Ireland this was to enable me to visit the repository that holds archives for my local area. PRONI provided me with an excellent tour that covered the wide of variety of work that they carry out as the official repository in Northern Ireland for official and private records.
Over 3 million records are currently held at PRONI, ranging from the archives of government departments, court records, church records, and those of businesses, such as Harland and Wolff, and estates, such as the Londonderry Papers. I was able to view the stores, search room and reading room as well as discuss topics such as cataloguing, preservation and digitising archives. This provided me with an insight into how a large national archive is run and how they deal with issues that are specific to their organisation.