Ulster Unionist Council Archive

Repository: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Identity Statement

TitleUlster Unionist Council Archive
Archive ReferenceGB 0255 PRONI/D1327
Web Link to this Entryhttps://iar.ie/archive/ulster-unionist-council-archive
Creation Dates1800-1992
Extent Medium200 volumes + c60,000 files and documents


Creator(s): Ulster Unionist Council

  • Administrative History ↴

    The UUC was set up in 1905, under the Presidency of the 2nd Duke of Abercorn, '... to form a union of all local unionist associations in Ulster, to keep the latter in touch with their parliamentary representatives and to be the medium of expressing Ulster Unionist opinion ...'. It formed the basis for what was to become the Ulster Unionist Party. Source: PRONI catalogue: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/proni
  • Archival History ↴

    The collection was received in a number of deposits, notably two large accessions in 1986.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Ulster Unionist Council ↴

    The pre-1905 archive material derives from predecessor and/or associated bodies, some of it running on well beyond 1905. These UUC-related papers include: minutes and accounts, etc, of the Unionist Clubs’ Council, 1893-1919; minutes, etc, of the Unionist Association of Ireland, 1907-1915, with a register of speakers and canvassers, c.1908; accounts for the Unionist Association of Ireland Guarantee Fund, 1908-1913; and minutes, etc, of the Junior Imperial League, 1925-1945, together with minutes of various Belfast branches of the Junior Imperial League, 1925-1944, and correspondence about the formation of a new junior organisation to recruit young people into the Unionist Party, 1944.
    Records within the archive relating to the Ulster Volunteer Force are also fairly abundant. These include: minutes of the Co. Down Committee of the UVF, 1912-1915; minutes of the Headquarters’ Council of the UVF, 1914-1920, with enclosures such as a letter of 6 April 1914 in which the British League ‘for the support of Ulster’ complains to Richard Dawson Bates, secretary to the UUC, of Frank Hall’s harsh criticism of the League; and a file of reports, instructions, details of signals, etc, relating to the gun-running at Larne, Bangor and Donaghadee in April 1914. There are also photographs of a number of UVF reviews and other gatherings, c.1912-1914.
    The UUC archive proper (insofar as this can ever be defined) includes the following minutes and series of minute books: minutes of the Ulster Day Committee, 1911-1912; minutes of the Unionist Defence Fund Committee, 1912-1914; minutes of the Business Men’s Executive Committee which was established to advise on commercial problems arising out of the formation of the Provisional Government, 1913-1914; minutes of the Ulster Unionist delegates to the Irish Convention, 1917-1918; agenda for, and minutes of, meetings of the UUC Executive Committee, 1949-1982, and of the Standing Committee, 1919-1974; minutes of the Officers’ Committee, 1968-1981, and of the Finance Committee, 1941-1974, with gaps; minutes, correspondence, briefing documents, etc, relating to various special committees and sub-committees, 1917-1981, such as the Propaganda Sub-Committee formed in 1938 to consider ways and means of countering adverse propaganda about Northern Ireland, and which later became the Publicity Sub-Committee and then the Political Education and Publicity Sub-Committee, 1938-1973, of the Refugee Committee set up to help loyalists forced to flee from the Irish Free State, 1922, the Employment Sub-Committee, 1923, the Business Committee formed to administer the affairs of the UUC, 1943-1947, the Housing Sub-Committee, 1950-1951, and the committee set up to consider areas of civil unrest, 1968; minutes and notices of annual general meetings and special meetings of the UUC, 1913 and 1930-1974, with agenda, details of motions, etc, for their annual conferences, 1909 and 1943-1981; and minutes of committees set up at different times between c.1940 and c.1980 to review the strength of unionism and make recommendations for improving party efficiency.
    Press cuttings, political cartoons, printed publications, etc, 1886-1982, cannot always be attributed to any one unionist organisation. There is a large section correspondence of Secretaries to the UUC.
    The archive also contains the records of the Ulster Unionist Labour Association (UULA) which was formed in 1917 by Sir Edward Carson to counteract socialism amongst working class unionists.
    There are also: minutes of meetings of the Official Ulster Unionist Parliamentary Party, 1921-1976, together with agenda and related correspondence, 1945-1972; and records of local unionist associations which include minutes, 1958-1971, and accounts, 1965-1971, of Ormeau Unionist Association, minutes, correspondence, etc, 1954-1961, of North Belfast Imperial Unionist Association, minutes of Mid-Armagh Women’s Association, 1929-1955, and of Mid-Armagh Men’s Association, 1929-1944 and 1951-1969, and minutes, 1968-1984, and correspondence, etc, 1968-1986, of North Down Divisional Association.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    The collection is arranged as follows:
    D1327/1 Unionist Clubs
    D1327/2 ‘Ulster Crisis’ material
    D1327/3 Ulster Solemn League and Covenant and Ulster Declaration
    D1327/4 Ulster Volunteer Force
    D1327/5 Officer’s Committee, Ulster Unionist Council
    D1327/6 Executive Committee, Ulster Unionist Council
    D1327/7 Standing Committee, Ulster Unionist Council
    D1327/8 Ulster Unionist Council AGM’s
    D1327/9 Annual Conferences of the Ulster Unionist Council
    D1327/10 Annual Returns for the Ulster Unionist Council
    D1327/11 Ulster Unionist Labour Association
    D1327/12 Organisation and Constitution
    D1327/13 Publicity material
    D1327/14 Finance
    D1327/15 Special Committees and Sub-Committees, Ulster Unionist Council
    D1327/16 Election material
    D1327/17 Ulster Unionist – Conservative links
    D1327/18 Ulster Unionist Council – Secretary’s correspondence
    D1327/19 ‘Topics’, bundles and files involving the Ulster Unionist Council Secretary
    D1327/20 Publications
    D1327/21 Press statements and newspaper cuttings
    D1327/22 Parliamentary Party
    D1327/23 Local Unionist Associations
    D1327/24 Boundary Commissions
    D1327/25 UYUC and UWUC
    D1327/26 Constitutional Policy
    D1327/27 Ulster Unionist Council: Clerkship to her Majesty’s Lieutenant
    D1327/28 Headquarters files and papers, 1980-98

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions It is a condition of the deposit that each researcher apply in writing, via PRONI, for permission to consult the records. These requests are dealt with at quarterly meetings of the UUC; but in view of the lengthy gaps between meetings, it is important to apply in good time. On no account should any researcher turn up 'on spec.' to consult the UUC archive.
Conditions Governing ReproductionPlease contact PRONI for guidance
Creation Dates1800-1992
Extent Medium200 volumes + c60,000 files and documents
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Finding Aids A descriptive list is available to search online at: http://www.proni.gov.uk/ Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

There are no Allied Materials

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteIAR Archivist
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000. National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997. UK Archival Thesaurus (UKAT)
Date of Descriptions41699