Historical Society

Founded in 1907 the object of the Society is to explore and promote an understanding of the history of Presbyterianism in Ireland.

This is achieved by various means, including the collection and preservation of historic materials and records of these churches.


From its very beginning the Society was made up of the three churches which held the Presbyterian Order in Ireland. These are the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland and the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland. This is still the position today.

As the home for thousands of printed and manuscript items it is the first port of call for anyone interested in the history of Presbyterianism in Ireland or in tracing their Presbyterian roots.

The name chosen - the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland - indicates four main things about the Society:

Their particular interest is Presbyterian history. However, in the library and archive they also have materials which are of wider ecclesiastical, social and political interest.

Their main concern is historical. They interpret this in the broadest sense, in that they are glad to preserve anything relating to our history which we can accommodate.

They are a Society which welcomes everyone irrespective of whether they are Presbyterian, especially if they have an interest in Presbyterianism and Irish Presbyterian history.

Ireland is the main area of concern, involving the three streams of the Presbyterian tradition. The stream flowing from the first presbytery in Ireland in 1642 is the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (although some Presbyterians are known to have been in Ireland around 1600). It was formed in 1840 by the union of the Synod of Ulster and the Secession Synod. The latter was itself the result of the union in 1818 of two Secession streams, the Burgher and Anti-Burgher Synods.The Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland was the result of division within the Synod of Ulster in 1725 and a later secession from the Synod in 1829; together with the later accession of the Synod of Munster. The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland was constituted in 1763 with its first presbytery.

For further information on the Presbyterian Historical Society visit their website.