Visit the Iconic Linen Hall Library in Belfast

…the very words ’the Linen Hall Library’ represent not just books, but better hopes for the way we live.
– Seamus Heaney

The Linen Hall Library is a truly unique institution. Founded in 1788, it is the oldest library in Belfast and the only remaining library in Ireland that still generates a proportion of its income from membership. The Library is free to enter and enjoy, and is housed in a stunning Victorian former linen warehouse in the picturesque Donegall Square, across from Belfast City Hall.

What’s the best introduction to the library?

A good way to sample the library is to attend one of the many cultural events or attend a tour. They hold a number of specialist tours including a general information tour.

The library has a radical and ‘enlightenment’ foundation, and has prized its independence and maintained the principle that its resources are owned by the community for the community. It is renowned for its unparalleled Irish and Local Studies Collection, ranging from comprehensive holdings of Early Belfast and Ulster printed books to the 350,000 items in the Northern Ireland Political Collection, the definitive archive of the recent ‘Troubles’.

  • The library is free to explore
  • Tours cost £5 per person
  • Tours run Monday to Friday at 10.30am

Things to do in County Antrim