Linen Hall Library
Founded in 1788, Linen Hall Library is a truly unique institution. As the oldest library in Belfast and the last subscribing library in Ireland, it has an impressive Irish and Local Studies Collection and houses a significant genealogy section.
Founded in 1788, Linen Hall Library is the oldest library in Belfast and the last subscribing library in Ireland. It is renowned for its unparalleled Irish and Local Studies Collection, ranging from comprehensive holdings of Early Belfast and Ulster printed books to the 250,000 items in the Northern Ireland Political Collection, the definitive archive of the recent 'Troubles'.
The library also boasts the Northern Ireland Theatre and Performing Arts Archive, a unique collection reflecting the rich cultural heritage.
The library's oldest book is De Anima (1490) written by the Eastern physician, Avicenna, about health and well being. It also has a first edition copy of James Joyce's Ulysses in its collection, and the first printing of the American Declaration of Independence outside of America.
The Linen Hall has an illustrious profile as a centre of cultural and creative life and offers a varied programme of events ranging from monthly exhibitions to readings and lectures.
All visitors are welcome to access the collections, and staff are always on hand to help.
Admission to the Library is free, but donations from visitors are appreciated to support the library's work.
The licensed Coffee House is open for light refreshments. It offers a range of specialty freshly roasted coffees, high quality sandwiches, soups, stew, salads, paninis, baked potatoes, and a range of puddings and pastries.
The shop at the Linen Hall stocks an impressive range of books, prints and gifts. If you are unable to visit the shop in person, you can order Linen Hall products by telephoning 028 9032 1707.
Full disabled access and facilities are available (via Fountain Street entrance). Guide dogs and hearing dogs are welcome.