Research Centre

NIFHS logoOpening

The Research Centre is closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

The North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS) has a well stocked Research Centre at Unit C4 in the Valley Business Centre in Newtownabbey.  The Valley Business Centre has a free car park and there is a café on the site. The normal Opening Hours of the Research Centre are Tuesdays and Thursdays 2pm to 8pm, excepting Christmas, New Year, Easter and July.  Check the Calendar page. It can be opened at other times for research if volunteers are available or booked for Branch events by arrangement with the Research Centre Bookings Officer – see Contacts. For details about how to get to the Research Centre see the Location & Directions page.


The Research Centre consists of the following rooms – with the links to their content holdings in Resources.

  • The Entrance has three steps but there is a wheelchair ramp that can be placed over them and cars may, if necessary, be driven to the door.
  • The Reception Area has racks of Brochures and a number of family history Periodicals.  Members and visitors are asked to sign in and out.  A small voluntary donation is asked of non-members.
  • The Randal Gill Library holds an extensive collection of Irish Section Books and Records (including indexed transcriptions of Church Records, Graveyard Records, Newspaper Records and various Miscellaneous Records, some of which are online).  For Members who cannot visit the Library there is a free Look Up Service.
  • The Irish Journal Room holds runs of more than 50 Journals, mainly of family history or local history societies from the North of Ireland.  It also has the Society’s Newsletters and the 41 volumes of Ordnance Survey Memoirs.  There is an A3 colour photocopier/printer/scanner.
  • The Map Room has an almost complete set of 6 inches to the mile Maps of Northern Ireland plus a good selection of other maps.  It has a good range of Directories and a small set of books about Other Countries.
  • The Honneyman Room is a lecture theatre offering a programme of Courses for family historians.
  • The Office is equipped with Computing Facilities and a collection of genealogical CDs & DVDs and free Wi-Fi is available throughout the Research Centre.  One of the computers has free access to FindMyPast‘s worldwide collection of records and newspapers.

See Speakers & Stalls if you would like a speaker or if you would like a Family History stall at an event. The regularly updated Library List has a full list of items and an explanation of the shelfmarks for finding material. See our online Shop for Books, Booklets, CDs and Journals for sale.


Plan of the NIFHS Research Centre at Newtownabbey