CollectionBelfast Corporation Records

The following is a selection of some of the Council records. Bound volumes of the following committee minutes:

Law Committee, 1873-1927.
Blind Persons' Act, 1923-1947.
Libraries Committee, 1888-1900.
Libraries, Museum and Art Committee, 1920-1973.
Gas Committee, 1874-1903, 1907-1924 and 1924-1973.
Gas and Electricity Committee, 1903-1907.
Police Committee, 1800-1835, 1842-1865, 1865-1912, 1910-1954 and 1954-1973. These committee minutes make numerous passing references to women. For instance, bound, handwritten minute book of Belfast Corporation Police Committee, 1883-1892 notes that, 'The Superintendent was authorised to allow Mrs. Thompson till 1st September to vacate the house occupied by her late husband', 20 August 1885 and that 'Mrs. Stewart be appointed caretaker of the morgue at the same wages...paid to her late husband', 14 June 1888.
Police Commissioners' Committee, 1807-1944.
Police (Licensing) Committee, 1937-1973.
Police (Regarding Fire Services) Committee, 1948-1950.
Police (Traffic Special) Committee, 1951-1966.
Transfer Case regarding Traffic Schemes, 1950-1953.
Police (Road Safety) Committee, 1961-1966.
Electricity Committee, 1894-1943, 1943-1973.
Public Health and Health Committee, 1887-1910.
Health Committee, 1910-1930, 1930-1966.
Baths and Lodging Houses and Health (Baths) Committee, 1907-1973.
Belfast Health Commissioners (Minutes of Evidence), 5 March-24 July 1907.
Tuberculosis Committee, 1922-1947.
Tuberculosis Prevention Act, Committee of Management, 1913-1922.
Whiteabbey Sanatorium Inquiry, 3 volumes, 1940-1941.
Committee of Management for Hospitals and Dispensaries, 1913-1915.
Miscellaneous Committees and an index to the same, 1829-1915 and 1915-1955.
Belfast Health Commission, Minutes of Evidence, 1907.
Tramways Committee (including Tramways and Electricity), 1904-1921, 1921-1937, 1937-1948, 1948-1973.
School Meals Committee, May- October 1920.
Technical Instruction Committee, 1920-1924.
Technical Instruction Consultative Committees, 1901-1907.
Special Education Committee, 1918-1919.
Technical School Committee, 1898-1900.
Library and Technical Committee, 1902-1910, 1913-1920.
Education Committee, 1923-1932, 1932-1947, 1947-1958, 1958-1967, 1967-1973.
City Administrators in Council, November 1942-June 1945.
City Administrators' Accounts Committee, October 1942-June 1945.
City Administrators' Blind Persons' Act Committee, October 1942-June 1945.
City Administrators' Monthly Meetings, October 1942-June 1945.
Officers' Advisory Board Committee, 1838-1843,
Chairmen's Committee, 1938-1942.
Improvement Committee, 1846-1889, 1889-1902, 1902-1910, 1910-1919, 1919-1932, 1932-1950, 1950-1973.
Town Council Committee, 1842-1869, 1869-1882, 1882-1892, 1892-1895, 1895-1901, 1901-1922, 1922-1935, 1935-1959.
City Council Committee, 1959-1973.
Markets Committee, 1847-1927, 1927- May 1951.
Estates Committee, 1930-May 1951.
Estates and Markets Committee, June 1951-1955, 1955-1973.
Housing Committee, 1918-1930, 1948-1957.
Housing (Clearance and Re-development) Committee, 1957-1968, 1968-1971.
Special Committee regarding Housing Inquiry, 1926-1930.
Muir and Addy Inquiry regarding Housing (Timber), 1915.
Town Planning Committee, 1963-1973.
Air Raid Precautions, 1938-1940.
Belfast Civil Defence Authority, May 1942-September 1945, October 1945-February 1946.
Belfast Civil Defence Authority Salaries, from August 1942.
Belfast Civil Defence Authority Welfare Branch Wages, 1941 and Summary of Wages, 1940-1945.
Audit, 1873-1900.
Salaries and Wages Committee, 1919-1922.
Special Committee regarding Salaries and Wages, 1927-1930, 1932.
Finance Committee, 1856-1901, 1901-1935, 1935-1973.
General Purposes Committee, 1930-1937, 1937-1971.
General Purposes and Finance Committee, 1951-1955.
Local Government Board Inquiries, 1904-1912 and April 1912 onwards.
Report on Belfast Health Commissioners, 1910.
Little York Street Area Valuations, 1909.
Royal Commission on Market Rights and Tolls, 1891.
Miscellaneous Inquires (10 books), 1916 onwards.
Belfast Corporation Bill (Minutes of Evidence), 1896, 1899.
Belfast Corporation Bill, 1899.
Belfast Water Bill (Minutes of Evidence), 1899.
Report of Commission appointed to inquire into Belfast, 1858.
Collins' Inquiry into Administration, 1928.
Report on Financial Re-organisation, 1929 and an additional file, no date.
Somme Anniversary Committee, 1930-1931.
Boyd versus Belfast Corporation, no date.
Municipal Election, statement of nominees and summary of expenses, 1923.
Municipal Election, Summary of Expenses, 1926.
Record of Justices of the Peace, no date.
Petrol Rationing Committee, 1973.
Vesting Order, schedule of lands, 1944.
Town Hall Committee, 1869-1881.
Assembly Book, 1751-1842.
Distress Committee, 1905-1914 and Sub-Committee, 1905-1914.
Special Committee regarding anomalies in salaries and wages, 1932.
Sewerage Committee, 1868-1874.
Registers of Corporate Seal, 1894, 1915, 1932-1973.
Register of Loans, 1850-1854, 1922-1955.
Record of Salaried Officers, 1894-1921.
Miscellaneous Wages Books, 1942-1969.
Widows', Orphans and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act (Register of Staff Absences), 1944-1947.
Air Raid Precautions Wages Books, 1942-1944.
Records of Staff War Bonus, no date.
Register of Superannuated Officers, 1950-1965.
Special resolutions of Council, 1932-1973.
Minutes of Special Committee, 1940-1944.
Letter books, 1894-1897, 1900-1901.
Belfast Public Textile Testing House, record of work done, 1969-1984 and record of work received, 1975-1984.
Election payments vouchers, 1920.
Proclamations, notices and letters, 1842-1881, 1917.
Notices of Motion, 1892-1908.
Pawnbrokers' Bonds Register, 1855-1949.
Register of Boundary Posts, 1927.
Notices of serving summonses, 1944-1948.
Register of street expenses, 1934-1963.
Blind Persons' Act, allowance books, 1942-1948.
Provident Fund of Management, 1913-1972.
Record of Members elected to the Council, 1842-1901.
Record of Members and their appointment to committees, 1938-1949.
Attendance registers, 1913-1981.
Belfast, Hollywood and Castlereagh Joint Board: Wages books, 1932-1952, 1952-1957 and Minutes, 1906-1967.
Cash Book, 1907-1958.
Cash Statement Book, 1914-1957.
Cartage Book, 1912-1951.
Accounts book, 1953-1960.
Children's Act Committee, 1910-1956.
Maternity and Child Welfare Committee, 1918-1947.

For example, the minutes of the Children's Act Committee of Belfast Corporation, 1910-1956 record the work of this body from its establishment following the passage of the 1908 Children's Act. The minutes of this committee are bound in 6 indexed volumes and cover topics such as emigration, school inspection and attendance, the appointment of teachers, teachers' salaries, the placing of children in foster homes, the committal of children to various reformatories and industrial schools, such as Nazareth Lodge Industrial School in Belfast, Saint Michael's (Girls) Industrial School in Lurgan, Saint Patrick's Female Industrial School and Shamrock Lodge Industrial School in Belfast, Sacred Heart Industrial School in Whiteabbey, Abbeyville School for Girls in Belfast, Victoria Homes in Belfast, Malone Reformatory in Belfast and Milltown Reformatory, also in Belfast. In addition, the minutes contain numerous references to religious instruction, cases of diphtheria, wages and holiday provisions for female staff members, such as matrons, female clerks, nurses, dairymaids and seamstresses, at various reformatories. Several letters, for instance from the Ministry of Home Affairs for Northern Ireland, have also been copied into the minute books of this committee. The following is a selection of some of the material which is available:

Handwritten minute book of the Children's Act Committee of Belfast Corporation, 18 May 1910-26 October 1920 which includes minutes referring to female industrial schools as a letter had been received from Revd. A.J. Wilson of Malone House 'relative to a proposal in regard to certain female industrial schools in Ireland, whereby an experiment is to be made of keeping a certain number of girls, who are willing to remain, for an additional year's instruction, after their legal period of detention had expired. The letter intimated that the Government would allow four shillings and six pence per week in respect of each girl so remaining, instead of the usual contribution of five shillings per week, as it was expected that the local authorities would continue their contribution as hitherto', 9 February 1915.

It was resolved, 'That the Council be recommended to approve of the proposal, and to authorise this Committee to continue its contributions of two shillings and six pence per week for an additional year in respect of such girls as may be selected, and towards whose maintenance in industrial schools the Committee are now contributing', 23 February 1915.

The Children's Act Committee was asked to continue to maintain girls in Bray Industrial School in County Wicklow 'who have now attained the age of 16 years, in order that they may receive a special course of Domestic Economy Instruction', 29 June 1915.

The Children's Act Committee agreed to pay 2/6 per week for each girl maintained in Bray Industrial School, 14 July 1915.

Handwritten minute book of the Children's Act Committee of Belfast Corporation, 16 November 1920-14 June 1926 includes notes on the case of the committal of a girl to an industrial school which was deferred 'as the child is now attending school', 22 March 1921.

Arrangements were made for the laundress of Balmoral Industrial School for Boys 'as the laundry work would now be carried out by Workhouse officials', the laundress was offered the position of charwoman 'at the same rate of wages pending return to the Balmoral School, but that she had declined to accept same'. The manager was 'instructed to again offer the position of Charwoman to the laundress, and in the event of her declining the position he be instructed to dispense with her services by one week's notice, it being understood that her original position will be open for her when the boys return to the Balmoral School premises', 7 October 1921.

A copy of a letter from Mr Curry regarding 'children named Mitchell, at present in Balmoral Industrial School, and stating that as...[he] has provided a home for their mother and sister he is also willing to undertake the care of these children in the same home as their mother' and agents of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children were to inquire into this case 'as to the writer of the letter', 25 October 1921.

It was unanimously resolved that 'Councillor Florence Clark be re-elected Chairman of the Committee for the ensuing year. Councillor Clarke took the Chair and thanked the Committee for the compliment paid her', 7 February 1922.

Typed minute book of the Children's Act Committee of Belfast Corporation, 30 June 1926-23 March 1937, containing a report from delegates of the Children's Act Committee who attended the Triennial Conference of the Reformatory and Refuge Union in Liverpool, June 1927.

It was noted that a new seamstress had been appointed who 'did not follow the occupation...but would with a little training, be made suitable for the the wages of 34/- per week, without any perquisites whatsoever', 10 August 1927.

The Children's Act Committee discussed who was responsible for a girl who was to be committed to the Scared Heart Industrial School in Whiteabbey as her mother was 'not native of Newry but of Kilkenny, and only visits Newry occasionally as a tramp when she stays in the Union Workhouse', 21 September 1921.

It was reported that Mrs Harold Barbour of Strathearn, Dunmurry 'stated that she would be pleased to bear the expense of sending the boys of the [Balmoral Industrial] School to the seaside on a day to be arranged', 19 September 1928.

It was stated that due to the closure of the Sacred Heart Reformatory and Industrial School at Abbeyville in Whiteabbey cases would be transferred to Saint Joseph's Reformatory in Middletown, County Armagh and Saint Catherine's Industrial School respectively, 11 October 1933.

Printed minute book of the Children's Act Committee of Belfast Corporation, 1 April 1937-31 March 1946 which includes, a reference to a letter which had been received from the Ulster Women's Unionist Council 'requesting to be informed how long the system of teaching and discipline has been in operation in Balmoral Boys' School' and this organisation were informed that it had been in operation since the school was taken over by Belfast Corporation in July 1920, 15 June 1938.

It was stated that the trustees and committee of Victoria Voluntary Home intended to surrender their certificate for Shamrock Lodge Reformatory School 'with the result that there is now no Reformatory for Protestant girls who may come before the Courts and whom the Courts may wish to commit' and the Children's Act Committee decided that although they were required 'to make provision for Protestant youthful offenders resident within the City' due to 'the paucity of numbers of Protestant girls normally resident in the City committed to Shamrock Lodge is undesirable, from the ratepayers' point of view' that this should be insisted upon, 11 November 1942.

Printed minute book of the Children's Act Committee of Belfast Corporation, 1 April 1946-23 May 1951 including a list of the duties of the matron at Balmoral Boys' School in Belfast and noting that as a girl had commenced employment the Children's Act Committee and Ministry of Home Affairs were no longer jointly responsible for her maintenance, 28 June 1950.

Typed and printed minute book of the Children's Act Committee of Belfast Corporation, 5 June 1951-18 September 1956 containing the minutes from the last meeting of the Children's Act Committee, 18 September 1956 and notes on a girl 'released on licence' from the Girls' Training School in Whiteabbey but 'recalled to school' on the next day 'and was again the responsibility of the Committee', 14 August 1951.

Minute books of the Maternity and Child Welfare Committee of Belfast Corporation, 1918-1947, including the City Administrators' Maternity and Child Welfare Committee,1942-1947. The minutes are bound in 3 indexed volumes and cover topics such as infantile and maternal mortality, the registration of premises under the Midwives and Nursing Homes Act (Northern Ireland), 1929, the provision of milk and meals to children and expectant mothers, home helps, the execution of maternity and child welfare services, the inoculation of children, the wages of health visitors and medical staff, grants and administration at numerous ante natal clinics and various institutions such as the Royal Maternity Hospital, Belfast, the Rescue and Maternity Home, Malone Park, Belfast, Thorndale Babies' Home, Belfast, the Ulster Hospital for Children and Women, Belfast, Hopedene Hostel, Belfast and numerous maternal and child welfare clinics. The following is an example of some of the material which is available:

Handwritten minute book of the Maternity and Child Welfare Committee of Belfast Corporation, 6 November 1918-21 September 1932, noting that two women were to be investigated 'for alleged breaches of the [Midwifery] Regulations', 26 February 1919.

A case was discussed of a 'midwife practising in the City who was unable to read or write, and thus unable to keep proper records as required by the regulations', 25 April 1919.

It was noted that an inquiry was to be established to investigate an outbreak of puerperal fever in Belfast, 19 February 1920.

Miss Adelaide Cox, Commissioner in the Salvation Army successfully requested a grant of £500 to be made towards Thorndale Babies' Home, Antrim Road, Belfast, 19 October 1922.

It was reported 'that there were at present 10 babies in St. Joseph's Home, and that during the past month 4 had been nursed out and 5 had died', 16 November 1922.

Councillor Elizabeth Macomb was re-elected Chairman of the committee, 9 February 1926.

Doctor Grace Pollock was appointed Medical Officer 'in connection with the Maternity and Child Welfare Scheme in the City at a salary at the rate of œ500 per annum', 11 October 1931.

It was reported that '127 infants under the age of one year died within the City during the six weeks ended 10th inst.', 21 January 1931.

Typed minute book of the Maternity and Child Welfare Committee of Belfast Corporation, 19 October 1932-19 March 1937, including a special report on infant mortality in Belfast with figures of the mortality rate for the period 1926-1931, 15 November 1932.

The Maternity and Child Welfare Committee undertook to operate a scheme to feed expectant mothers, although only until 31 March 1933 as a result of financial considerations, prompting Miss L.M. Gaffikin to withdraw 'her name as seconder of the motion', 29 December 1932.

A report by the Medical Superintendent Officer of Health emphasised Belfast's high maternal and infant mortality rates and the need to extend maternal and child welfare schemes, 'The lowering of the infant mortality rate depends upon educated motherhood, upon mothercraft. The physical condition of the mother during the ante-natal period is most important. Housing has some responsibility, but it is secondary to maternal knowledge and condition. ...Our needs are great', 11 January 1933.

Printed minute book of the Maternity and Child Welfare Committee of Belfast Corporation, 16 April 1937-30 November 1947, noting that '78 children under the age of one year had died in the City during the five weeks ended 1st instant', 21 May 1937.

5 women were co-opted onto the Maternity and Child Welfare Committee, 19 October 1937.

It was stated that 'The Medical Superintendent reported that dissatisfaction existed amongst health visitors and nurses regarding the standard of quality of the uniform clothing supplied to them', 10 September 1937.

The Marie Stopes' Mother's Clinic at the Mount in Belfast requested £100 towards maintaining the clinic, but this request was refused as 'the Corporation had not any such powers', 22 October 1937.

It was noted that a midwife was 'suspended from order to prevent the spread of infection', 22 October 1937.

It was reported that 'numbers attending the ante-natal clinics and child welfare centres had increased in recent years, and that it would be necessary to have additional sessions at several of the clinics and centres owing to overcrowding' and it was also suggested that an additional ante-natal clinic, two additional child welfare clinics, the provision of dinners and dental treatment for expectant mothers be established, but the committee 'decided not to proceed with the scheme for the provision of meals for expectant mothers', 24 November 1937.

It was noted that the decision not to supply meals for expectant mothers on the basis that 'milk and milk goods [were] dispensed at the child welfare centres' was reported to Belfast City Council and that 'Miss L.M. Gaffikin dissented from this decision', 2 February 1938.

The Rescue and Maternity Home, Malone Place, Belfast were refused an additional grant for the ante-natal work carried on in this institution, 17 November 1939.

It was noted that 'a large proportion of the mothers attending Child Welfare Centres were not disposed to take advantage of the National Milk Scheme preferring to obtain the full cream milk which the committee had hitherto been distributing at a charge commensurate with the recipients' capacity to pay', 15 November 1940.

Miss L.M. Gaffikin moved to rescind the Committee's decision of 18 May 1932 which required 'women in the Maternity and Child Welfare Department to resign on marriage, but the motion failed to find a seconder', 15 November 1940.

The establishment of an Obstetrical Flying Squad was discussed 'to attend special cases where the doctor or midwife in attendance considered the circumstances to be sufficiently serious to require the services of a nurse and/or specialist...The cost of operating the scheme in the initial year was estimated at £500', 27 November 1942.

Belfast's infant mortality rate was referred to as 'abnormally high', 7 December 1942.

The Ulster Midwives' Association urged the committee to keep two residential nurseries in Belfast open for 'the babies of mothers who have to work to support themselves, and of mothers who for one reason or another cannot care for their own babies.' These nurseries had been used for 'War Workers' babies' and the committee stated that the provision of two small residential nurseries was part of their post-war plan, 23 November 1945.

AccessBy prior appointment.
Century18th, 19th, 20th
Repository NamePublic Record Office of Northern Ireland
Address2 Titanic Boulevard Titanic Quarter Belfast
UK Postal CodeBT3 9HQ
Telephone+44 28-9053-4800
Repository Web Address
CommentSome of the information listed from this repository has been extracted from lists available in the archives. The lists were compiled by Public Record Office of Northern Ireland staff and we are grateful for their assistance. It must be remembered that due to time constraints not all items in this repository were examined individually.