Belfast's oldest library with famous Irish and genealogy collections, housed in a listed Victorian linen building.

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.
Full disabled access and facilities are available (via Fountain Street entrance). Guide dogs and hearing dogs are welcome.
Linen Hall Library
17 Donegall Square North,

Top Reasons To Visit

  • Belfast's oldest fully-functioning library, established in 1788
  • Housed in stunning Victorian linen warehouse
  • Holds the definitive 'Troubles' archive with 350,000 items
  • Comprehensive Irish and Belfast collections
  • Notable genealogy collection
  • Coffee House

    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.

  • Gift Shop

    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.

Torn From Home: Remembering the Holocaust

gps_fixed 0.08KM
Mon, 18 Feb 2019, 9:30am See All Dates (9)

Marking the 90th anniversary of WWII diarist Anne Frank’s birth, this exhibition reflects on how enforced loss of a safe place to call ‘home’ may be part of the...

location_on Linen Hall Library
Find Out More

Linen Hall Reading Group

gps_fixed 0.08KM
Thu, 28 Feb 2019, 1:10pm

Their popular reading group is open to the public and free to attend.

location_on Linen Hall Library
Find Out More

You might also like

  • Malone House
    Malone House

    Malone House

    gps_fixed 5.24KM

    Malone House is a stunning Georgian mansion, located just five minutes from Belfast City Centre in south Belfast.

    Find Out More
  • Mount Stewart

    gps_fixed 22.35KM

    Mount Stewart is one of the most inspiring gardens in the National Trust's ownership and the neoclassical house oozes opulence.

    Find Out More
  • White House

    gps_fixed 6.88KM

    Nestled on the northern shore of Belfast Lough for the last 400 years, The White House tells the story of the Williamite and Jacobite Wars.

    Find Out More
  • Albert Clock
    Albert Clock

    Albert Clock

    gps_fixed 0.6KM

    The historic Albert clock is Belfast's very own leaning tower.

    Find Out More
  • Castle Ward

    gps_fixed 34.03KM

    See the gothic and classical collide at Castle Ward, an eccentric 18th century mansion resting on a rolling hillside.

    Find Out More
  • Argory


    gps_fixed 49.95KM

    This handsome Irish gentry house is surrounded by its 130-hectare (320-acre) wooded riverside estate.

    Find Out More
  • Ballywalter Park
    Ballywalter Park

    Ballywalter Park

    gps_fixed 29.22KM

    Ballywalter Park is a classic example of an early Victorian Country House built in the Italianate Palazzo style.

    Find Out More
  • Seamus Heaney HomePlace
    Seamus Heaney HomePlace

    Seamus Heaney HomePlace

    gps_fixed 45.18KM

    Explore Heaney’s home at Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Bellaghy, a centre dedicated to the life, work and legacy of one of Ireland’s greatest wri...

    Find Out More
  • Belfast City Hall

    gps_fixed 0.01KM

    One of Belfast's most iconic buildings, Belfast City Hall first opened its doors in August 1906 and is Belfast's civic building.

    Find Out More
  • SS Nomadic

    gps_fixed 1.63KM

    RMS Titanic's tender ship and the last remaining White Star Line vessel has been restored to her original glory.

    Find Out More
Ask Us
Ask Us

We're here to help, so if you can't find the info you're after, or you just want to ask a really odd question, then we're here for you.

Ask A Question
arrow_upwardBack To Top
In order to display distances relevant to you, we'd like to be able to use your GPS location. Privacy Policy
Registered users can create scrapbooks to plan, save and organise ideas and itineraries for a trip to Belfast. Find Out More
In order to display distances relevant to your current position, we'd need to be able to use your GPS location. To find out more about how we use your location, please read our Privacy Policy
You have previously denied access to your GPS location. In order to allow access to your location, you need to update your site settings through your browser settings to allow this site access to your location.

To find out more about how we use your location, please read our Privacy Policy
Your settings have been updated. They will take effect next time you refresh the page.
By default, all distances on the site are calculated from Belfast City Centre. You can choose a different starting point here, or specify your own.