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Search Collections / Northern Ireland Political Collection



As well as being a library and archive, the Linen Hall Library is also an accredited museum. The Northern Ireland Political Collection was one of three collections to be granted museum accreditation in 2016, housing varied and fascinating artefacts and objects of national and international significance. This collection represents a selection of these contemporary and historic artefacts – material expressions of the roles that women played in their communities, and the ways that they were perceived.

The collection contains badges, postcards, political cartoons, textiles, rosettes, sculptures, trophies, photographs, press passes, stickers, t-shirts, and other miscellanea. Some notable artefacts include embroidered t-shirts containing quotes from oral histories collected during the Linen Hall Library extraORDINARYwomen project; photographs of Dame Mary Peters upon her return to Belfast after winning gold at the Munich Olympics in 1972; ‘House-After Louise Bourgeois,’ a porcelain sculpture by Irish artist Ursula Burke; trophies awarded to Charmaine Jones for her contributions to community relations and peace-building; and various badges from women’s organisations. 

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I Was There: Working-Class Women in Community Drama - ciara-mcallister-02

I Was There: Working-Class Women in Community Drama

The extraORDINARYwomen project at the Linen Hall Library has one fundamental goal: to celebrate the significance of ordinary women’s lives in Northern Ireland. As part of Ciara McAllister's PhD research, Ciara explored the Theatre and Performing Arts collections in the Linen Hall Library, looking specifically at materials relating to community arts.

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Anna Lo: an election journey - anna-lo-poster-1636113392

Anna Lo: an election journey

Anna Lo discusses her election journey, making change for a better future and her debut in politics. A tough campaigning journey proved to be fruitful as she made history by becoming ‘the first non-white elected politician in Northern Ireland and more astonishingly, the first China-born parliamentarian in Europe.’

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Charabanc: A Cultural Exchange in Russia - Picture1Charabanc-1636120033

Charabanc: A Cultural Exchange in Russia

Carol Moore, a co-founder of Charabanc Theatre Company, talks about the exciting first years of the company, and what she describes as ‘a journey of female empowerment’.

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