Papers of the Ulster Unionist Council, 1886-1986. Formally established in 1905, the Ulster Unionist Council was set up to advance and defend the interests of Ulster Unionists. Since 1905, the Council has played a leading role in representing the Unionist population of Ulster, directing the policy of Ulster Unionism through from the Home Rule Crisis of 1912-14 and the foundation of the State of Northern Ireland in 1921, to the recent Troubles, the Good Friday Agreement and the setting up of the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998.
The archive comprises: minutes, accounts etc of predecessors and/or associated bodies of the UUC, for example, the Unionist Clubs’ Council, 1893-1919, and the Unionist Association of Ireland, 1907-1915; records relating to the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) including minutes of the Headquarters' Council of the UVF, 1914-1920, reports, instructions, details of signals, etc, relating to the gun-running at Larne, Bangor and Donaghadee in April 1914 and photographs of UVF reviews and other gatherings, c. 1912- 1914; minute books of the UUC and associated committees and sub-committees, c. 1909-c. 1981; financial, electoral and constitutional papers, c. 1912-c. 1982; press statements, annual reports and cuttings books, 1886-1982; and correspondence of secretaries to the UUC, 1906-1982, in particular of Sir Richard Dawson Bates (1876-1949), Sir Wilson Hungerford, William Douglas, James Ballie and Norman Hutton, relating to the organisation, administration and policies of the Council and various contemporary issues.
The collection also contains records of the Ulster Unionist Labour Association (UULA) which was formed in 1917 by Sir Edward Carson to counteract socialism among working class unionists dating from 1917-1968 and minutes, 1960, and correspondence, 1959-64, of the Trade Union Advisory Committee of the UUC, which existed alongside the UULA for a time; and, finally, parliamentary and constituency papers of the Official Ulster Unionist Parliamentary Party and related bodies. These last comprise minutes of meetings of the 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.
Of interest to those researching Unionism in Ulster
Approx. 60,200 documents occupying c. 285 PRONI boxes
See PRONI reference D/1327 for catalogue of the papers. The catalogue is available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search Room.
See also http://www.proni.gov.uk/records/private/uuc.htm for a more detailed introduction to the collection.