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The extraORDINARYwomen project records and showcases the many varied experiences of women in Northern Ireland from 1965 to the current day.

Community engagement has been a key aspect of the project, and through a series of workshops, talks, and events, participants were encouraged to explore the changing identity and roles of women in Northern Ireland’s recent history.

A welcome outcome of the community engagement programme has been the collection of contemporary archives, objects, oral histories, and created pieces. The Linen Hall Library is grateful to all those who took part and to those who generously donated material to the collections.


Videos, publications and resources have been produced, which show the outputs of the project, including some of the extraORDINARYwomen engagement workshops, and these can be viewed or downloaded below.  There is also a suggested reading list of related titles which are available for consultation in the Linen Hall Library.


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The Sparks Exhibition Promotional Video

The Sparks exhibition promotional video courtesy of Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive.

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Together We Are Strong Video

Together We Are Strong – courtesy of Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive.

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Digital Film Archive eOw Collections

Digital Film Archive is proud to have supported Linen Hall Library’s extraORDINARYwomen project, contributing two films during the process, both of which have drawn from a deep well of audio-visual material relating to women’s experiences from 1965 to the present day. The films were shown as part of the Sparks exhibition in 2020, and the Together We Are Strong exhibition in 2021.

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extraORDINARYwomen Launch Event

Linen Hall Library 8th November 2021

Celebrating the movers, shakers, influencers, innovators, game-changers; the powerful and important contribution local women have made to society in Northern Ireland.

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Changing the Story

Published by Linen Hall Library 2021, 20 pages

During workshops led by author Jan Carson, women from across Northern Ireland created their own unique writing in response to literary talents who have shaped the Northern Irish writing scene such as Christina Reid, Joan Lingard, Jennifer Johnston, and Sinéad Morrissey.

“Every word that a woman writes changes the story of the world” Carolyn See.


Creative Writing

With Rosemary Jenkinson 2021, 2 pages

Try your hand at a creative response to stories in our collections.

Devised by Rosemary Jenkinson, this exercise is on memoir, looking at femininity, appearance and stereotyping, and is based on an extract from Rosemary's memoir, detailing how she has been judged on her appearance.


Reading List

Published by Linen Hall Library 2021, 51 pages

A list of suggested reading from the Linen Hall Library collections.


Together We Are Strong

Published by Linen Hall Library 2021, 16 pages

Publication catalogue which accompanied the extraORDINARYwomen's Together we are strong exhibition, examining the main themes of the project.


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