My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.

Abraham Lincoln

Support Us


Why remember the Linen Hall Library?

No institution in Northern Ireland has done more to promote enlightenment
and represent a better future for all our citizens.
Nobel Laureate and Linen Hall Library Member, Seamus Heaney
Help us to secure the Linen Hall's future - make the gift of a lifetime.

The Linen Hall Library is a unique legacy bequeathed to us by the energy, vision and generosity of previous generations since our foundation in 1788. That is why the Library can play such a central and inspirational role in the cultural life of our society today. 

The continued progress of the Library still depends on the sustained support of our friends. Many of us are not in a position to make such disposals in our own lifetimes. All of us should, however, make a will, and a legacy to the Linen Hall provides you with a particular chance to make a contribution for posterity.


Why we need your gift?

Legacies are vital for the future of the Linen Hall Library. With your help we can ensure the future of our collections and continued access to our resources. Your contribution can help us to acquire new works for our collections, enable conservation of our treasures, and make the Library more accessible for the community at large. A legacy given to an historic library like the Linen Hall can make a uniquely long-lasting and publicly recognised impact. 

You can help secure the Library’s future with a legacy in any form, whether of money, shares or property, or of a collection. Anyone can leave a legacy to the Linen Hall Library and it is easy to do. We welcome all legacies, large or small, and you can make the Library one beneficiary amongst many that you may wish to assist. 

All estates above a certain threshold are subject to Inheritance Tax on their net value, that is, the amount remaining after debts and other charges have been met. However, any amount over this threshold left to charity would be exempt. You may, therefore, be able to reduce the tax liability on your estate by leaving a legacy to the Linen Hall Library. 

We welcome legacies given to be used by the Library at its own discretion, and give the assurance that these will not generally be used to fund the on-going running expenses of the Library, and will be employed on the development of the Library and its services.

Areas of Interest to You

You may wish to allocate any legacy to areas of particular interest to you; these, by way of example, might include:

  • The book fund - for the purchase of major works for key collections.
  • Conservation - for the repair and safeguarding of our treasures.
  • Irish Collection.
  • Northern Ireland Political Collection.
  • Theatre and Performing Arts Archive.
  • Genealogy and Heraldry Collection.
  • Languages of Ulster Collection.
  • Poetry collection.
  • Arts and Cultural programming, including publications.
  • Outreach work to disadvantaged communities

All books acquired by legacy or with the assistance of a legacy are given a book-plate recording the name of the donor, and are computer catalogued with the name of the donor attached to the record. 

Major collections given by legacy may be given the designation of a special collection in the name of the benefactor.

Books conserved with the assistance of a legacy are given a book-plate recording the assistance of the benefactor.benefactor.

How to Leave a Gift in your Will

A valid will is the only guaranteed way for your wishes to be carried out and for your legacy to reach the Linen Hall Library.  Making a Will isn't complicated - it could cost you less than £100 and the benefits will last forever.

  • First appoint an advisor, usually a solicitor or bank.
  • Work out how much you have to leave, including the total sum of your property, money and possessions, less any outstanding mortgages or loans.
  • Decide whom you want to benefit from your Will: for example, your family, friends, favourite charities or good causes.
  • You can add a new beneficiary to an existing will by adding a Codicil (an extra claus). This is generally a simple procedure and your solicitor will be able to advise you further.
  • Choose executors to make sure your wishes are carried out. These can be professional advisors, friends or family members.
  • Finally, keep your Will safe and make sure your executors know where to find it. Give one copy to your solicitor or bank.


For a financial bequest:

"I bequeath to the Belfast Library and Society for Promoting Knowledge (the Linen Hall Library) of 17 Donegall Square North, Belfast BT1 5GB, Registered Charity Number XN45679, the sum of £___________'(for a pecuniary bequest), or: the residue of my estate (for a residuary bequest) to be used by the Linen Hall Library at its discretion."

If you wish to choose the specific purpose of your legacy, delete 'at its discretion' and substitute 'for or towards the purpose of: ________________'

For a bequest of a collection or other property:

"I bequeath to the Belfast Library and Society for Promoting Knowledge (the Linen Hall Library) of 17 Donegall Square North, Belfast BT1 5GB, Registered Charity Number XN45679, [description of collection or property].


Download our Legacy Leaflet, or if you would like to discuss further details or require more information about legacies, please contact:

Julie Andrews
Linen Hall Library, 
17 Donegall Square North, 
Belfast, BT1 5GB 
Tel. (028) 9032 1707;  Email