Linen Hall Library Postcard Collection

Images from the collection

The Linen Hall Library Postcard Collection contains more than 7,000 images which capture Ireland in bygone days and gives a sense of what life was like in remote villages and towns over one hundred years ago. Topographical cards dominate the collection and almost every city, town and village in Ireland is featured. Social development in urban Ireland is also clearly captured in postcards depicting street scenes which illustrate the growth of cities such as Belfast, Dublin and Cork. From these historic images the viewer can trace changes in architecture, fashion and transport.

Alongside these scenic cards other visual aspects of everyday life flourish. Housing, local industries, sport and leisure are all covered and significant historical events mainly relating to British rule in Ireland are represented in a series of political cards. A selection of humorous and specialty cards depict a lighter side to life and complete what is truly one of the most interesting and comprehensive collections of its type in Ireland.

For information on the Postcard Collection, the Postcard App and further Digital Development contact Linen Hall Library:

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The Linen Hall Library

Images from the Linen Hall Library

The Linen Hall Library is a truly unique institution. Founded in 1788, it is the oldest library in Belfast and the last subscribing library in Ireland. It has a radical and 'enlightenment' foundation, and ever since has prized its independence and has 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 250,000 items in the Northern Ireland Political Collection, the definitive archive of the recent troubles.

The Library also boasts the Northern Ireland Theatre and Performing Arts Archive, a unique collection reflecting our rich cultural heritage. The Linen Hall has an illustrious profile as a centre of cultural and creative life and offers a varied programme of events ranging from monthly exhibitions to readings and lectures.

We provide:

  • A full range of facilities at a city centre location
  • Unique Irish and Local Studies Collections
  • Extensive general lending collection, from bestsellers to classics
  • Free public reference use
  • Borrowing rights for members
  • Fast request service from helpful and expert staff
  • Access to daily newspapers, international magazines and journals
  • Weekly tours for £5.00 per person and Genealogy Workshops for £15.00 per person
  • Extensive range of fine prints, publications and gifts for sale
  • Wide-ranging cultural programmes
  • Internet access/Free Wi-Fi
  • Coffee Shop
  • Saturday opening

Contact the Linen Hall Library

Phone: 44 (0)28 9032 1707
Email: info@linenhall.com

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The Linen Hall is funded by membership subscriptions, the Department of Cultures Arts and Leisure, Belfast City Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

The Linen Hall Postcard App was funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s ‘Creative Industries Innovation Fund’ for 2014/15.

Arts Council of Northern Ireland and DCAL logos