Other Projects

R.J. Hunter had one of the finest private libraries in Derry/Londonderry. He also amassed a vast collection of research notes and copies of original documents. In his latter years he was a generous benefactor of a number of institutions. This section of the website tells you more about what happened to his books and papers, as well as those who benefitted from his generosity.

R. J. Hunter at PRONI

The R.J. Hunter Papers in PRONI comprise the working papers of the historian R.J. (Bob) Hunter (1938–2007) mainly relating to his research on English settlement in the western counties of Ulster, c. 1603–41 and on the history of Ireland in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Library

During his life R.J. Hunter was a faithful and energetic supporter of many worthy causes, not least was his enthusiasm for specialist libraries. One such institution – the Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Library – is an example of how such institutions benefitted from Bob’s generosity.

The Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Library, as it is today, is the combined collections of both the Derry Diocesan Library and the Raphoe Diocesan Library which were amalgamated in 1881. The books range in date from 1480 to 1900, and include the libraries of many bishops of the North West, notably Ezekiel Hopkins, who was bishop at the time of the Siege of Derry, 1689.

The Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Library is owned by the Church of Ireland but is now housed in the purpose-built Rare Books Room in the University of Ulster, Magee campus Library.

Digital access to some elements of the collection, such as the three manuscript catalogues is provided via this website. However, due to the fragile condition of many of the books, physical access to the collection may be limited in order to protect the books from further damage.

The Derry and Raphoe Collection is housed in the Rare Books Room in the Magee Learning Resource Centre. Readers wishing to obtain access to the collection should make an appointment with the Subject Librarian, Faculty of Arts, Frank Reynolds at: E-mail: fj.reynolds@ulster.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0) 28 70124540 Web: www.derryraphoelibrary.org

The Ulster Local History Trust

Bob Hunter showed huge enthusiasm and interest in adult education and the development of local history studies in Ireland. He was regularly involved in conferences, lecture programmes and conducting field trips to old ruins, graveyards and antiquities across the island, for his own research and as part of extra-mural studies with various institutions and organisations. His commitment to local history studies is exemplified in his connection with the Federation for Ulster Local Studies and the Ulster Local History Trust of which he was a benefactor.

The Ulster Local History Trust was established by the Federation for Ulster Local Studies to help raise the standard of local historical work, particularly among voluntary groups, and to assert its relevance in our society. The trustees believe that local historical studies are intimately connected with identity, with community, and with understanding, and can be a powerful force for good.

For further information: Ulster Local History Trust, c/o Vicky Herbert, 18 Clonaog Valley, Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh BT92 0LJ. Tel: 028 677 21730 Web: www.ulht.org.uk

Other Writings

The R.J. Hunter Papers in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (catalogued under D4446) include a number of essays by the historian in varying degrees of completeness. Some are in typescript, but most are handwritten. Some of the more complete essays are given here.