Frequently Asked Questions

Using the Library and Archive

Where is the Library and Archive of the PHSI?

The Library and Archive is situated at Assembly Buildings, Fisherwick Place, Belfast. It is within easy reach of Great Victoria Street rail and bus stations, and the Metro services in the city centre. An interactive map shows the locality.

Many eating places and places to stay can be found in and around Botanic Avenue. The Northern Ireland Tourist Board or the Belfast Welcome and Convention Centre will be pleased to give you details about available accommodation and how to book, as well as information about ‘what's on’ during your stay.

Can anyone use the Library and Archive?

Yes. You do not need to be a member of the Society but we would encourage you to become a member to help us in preserving and making the material available. If you are not a member and do not wish to become a member, you must register as a visitor, complete the Data Protection Declaration, and sign the visitors’ book on each visit.

Do I need any documentation to register or become a member?

No, but you will need to provide your name, permanent address and contact details.

Do I have to make an appointment?

It is not necessary to make an appointment but you are advised that if you are coming from a distance you should book a microfilm reader in advance.

Can I borrow library books?

The library books are for consultation only.

Do you have to pay to use the Library and Archive?

There is no charge made to visitors carrying out their own research but if you have received a helpful service we would appreciate a donation however small. There are, however, charges for copying material.

What do I need to bring in order to prepare for my visit?

You are advised to bring a pencil and notebook with you and to bring the relevant documentation with you to help us respond to your enquiry.

Can I bring a laptop and do you provide WiFi access?

Yes, you may bring a laptop into the reading room. Unfortunately, we do not have WiFi available.

Can I see baptism and marriage records on-line?

No, though we do have indexes to the records of 2 churches on our website and will continue to add to these when time permits.

Can I consult a catalogue of the Library and Archive on-line?

No, but we are working towards at least getting our library catalogue on-line.

How do I pay for copies and publications?

If you live in the United Kingdom you can pay by a sterling cheque, drawn on a UK bank, made payable to ‘The Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland’ or by PayPal via your PayPal account or using your Credit/Debit card to our account –

If you live outside the United Kingdom you can only pay by PayPal via your PayPal account or using your Credit/Debit card to our account – Our account currency is British Pound (GPB/Sterling).

Making an Enquiry

How soon can I expect a reply to written and e-mail enquiries?

We have no time limit within which to respond to enquiries. The Society employs one member of staff on a part-time basis so please be patient as we endeavour to work through the ever increasing number of enquiries received. If at all possible enquiries should be sent by e-mail as this will speed up the response.

Is there a charge for answering enquiries?

There is no charge for giving advice and guidance or for providing information on the career of ministers but we would really appreciate a donation, however small.

Do you carry out genealogical research?

The Society cannot provide a full genealogical research service but we will give you help and advice and carry out a search in records that are only held by the Society on payment of a fee.


Can I get a copy of a document or a page from a book?

We provide a photocopying and digital copying service though there may be occasions when it may not be possible to provide a copy on preservation grounds or because the document is too large. All visitors will be asked to complete a copyright declaration form.

Can I get a copy of information held on microfilm?

We have no facilities to provide print –outs from microfilm but in relation to microfilm copies of church records of baptisms, marriages etc you can obtain copies from the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

Can you provide electronic copies?

Yes, we have a facility to scan a document and e-mail it to you, provided it is smaller than A3.

Can I use a digital camera to copy documents?

You may use a digital camera provided you complete a copyright declaration form and pay the copying charge of £2.00 per day.

Complements and Complaints

How do I make a comment or suggestion?

We welcome feedback from our visitors and would encourage you to complete the online Comments and Suggestions form on-line or on-site.