Linenhall Library 225 years old

Linenhall Library Linenhall Library dates back to 1788

The Linenhall Library in Belfast, of which I am a Life Member, is celebrating its 225th birthday. It is the only subscription library left in Ireland and the oldest such archive in Belfast.

Founded by artisans in the city to encourage the spread of knowledge, the Linenhall is renowned for its political and theatrical collections.

The library has been described as one of Northern Ireland’s most precious cultural treasures.

“In 1793 we printed our first catalogue and there were 137 titles,” chief librarian John Killen said.

“We now have the best part of a million books on these premises.

“We have become computerised, all our catalogues are now on computer and on the web we have digitised a number of our collections.

“It’s all down to content and the library has oceans of content,” he added.

My Pretani Associate Helen Brooker and I  have visited John and his colleague, Julie Andrews, to discuss our plans for Common Identity and Heritage Outreach. 


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