Libraries enable the past to talk to the future.

Edward Cornish




Introduction to Collections

The Linen Hall Library has unique collections comprising c.250,000 volumes, and many thousands of more ephemeral items. Originally Belfast's only general library, it has an extensive General Collection (Levels 2 and 4), and a Children's Collection (Level 2). A General Reference service is provided on Level 4.

The Library is best known for its Irish and Local Studies Collection (Level 4), which includes a wide range of specialisms in form and content, and notably the Northern Ireland Political Collection, with its own Reading Room (Level 3), and the Theatre & Performing Arts Archive (accessed at Level 4).

The Library has a significant Genealogy and Heraldry Collection, and one of the largest collections of Burns & Burnsiana outside Scotland (Level 4).

The Library holds its own archives and those of others, along with literary manuscripts in its Archives and Manuscripts Collection (Level 4).

Postcards IrelandSome of the Library’s collections have been digitised. A selection of material from the Theatre Archive can be viewed at while the Library’s vintage postcard collection can be browsed and purchased at

For further information, please contact Monica Cash, Deputy Librarian, on (028) 9032 1707 or at