‘Better a state without public records than public records without a state’?— state formation, archives and commemoration’

So said Winston Churchill in reference to the Irish Free State on hearing news of the destruction of the Public Records Office in the Four Courts in June 1922 at the outbreak of the Civil War.

But in many respects, this also applies to Northern Ireland whose Public Records Office Northern Ireland (PRONI) didn’t open its doors until 1924.

How did these two institutions overcome this initial setback and what has been their significance in state formation, archives and commemoration?

Listen to Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland, in discussion with Marie Coleman, Catriona Crowe, Ray Gillespie and Neil Johnston.

This Hedge School is a part of a wider digital event hosted by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, in conjunction with Beyond 2022.

Available on Spotify *here* and on the History Ireland website *here*

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