While it may be the oldest library in Belfast, the Linen Hall Library is home to many cultural and creative events throughout the year.

Through a series of new, insightful exhibitions taking place this October, the Linen Hall Library will focus on the partition of Ireland in 1921. The 1921 Partition of Ireland is a contested piece of history, with a wide range of perspectives. 

These perspectives will be explored through a series of different exhibitions, online and in-person panel discussions, and talks with professionals.

Check out what events will shape ‘The Linen Hall Presents Ireland Divided: A Linen Hall Perspective’ and others happening in the Linen Hall below:

Ireland Divided: A Linen Hall Perspective


4th – 29th October

The Linen Hall Library has revisited and reinterpreted their collections from the 1920-1922 period and has created an exhibition to display this work. There is no singular or agreed narrative of the events that led to the partition of Ireland and the birth of the Northern Ireland state; it is a contested history of many perspectives. 

To view the Linen Hall’s perspective on The 1921 Partition of Ireland, make sure to visit The Linen Hall Library. 

It is open Monday to Friday 9:30 until 5:30, and is free to enter and enjoy.

Almost Happy: Pushing Your Buttons With Reverse Psychology

Online Zoom event

Monday 11 October at 7.00pm

It’s a proven fact; we are healthier and happier when we are laughing. In their new book, authors Brian Kaplan MD and art therapist Hephzibah Kaplan explore reverse psychology as a way of achieving positive mental health. 

Through a collection of 114 wearable buttons, each containing a provocative message, such as ‘Moaner’, ‘if only…’, and ‘Blame my parents’, subjects that usually ‘press our buttons’ can be revisited and turn negative feelings into positive healing. 

The authors will give a talk about the book followed by audience discussion for questions and conversation.

Northern Perspectives on Partition

Panel discussion

Wednesday 13 October at 7.00pm

Join host Seamus McKee (former BBC radio presenter, now Linen Hall governor) for a lively panel discussion with representatives from the NI Centenary Historical Advisory Panel. The panel discussion will also include Professor Lord Bew, Professor Marie Coleman, Dr Margaret O’Callaghan, and Professor Graham Walker.

Southern Perspectives on Partition (CANCELLED)

Panel Discussion

Wednesday 20 October at 7.00pm

Seamus McKee is also hosting another panel with representatives from the Irish Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations. The likes of which include Dr Maurice Manning, who is a historian and member of the Oireachtas for 21 years, Dr Martin Mansergh, a historian and former Fianna Fail minister, and Dr Mary McAuliffe, a historian, lecturer and Director of the Gender Studies Programme at University College Dublin.

Digging the Ballykelly Beaufort

With aviation archaeologist Jonny McNee

Thursday 21 October at 7.00pm

Jonny McNee, an aviation archaeologist, recounts the story of how he found, licensed and excavated the crash site of Bristol Beaufort AW 271 from the front garden of the Church of Ireland rectory in Ballykelly. The plane went down on 30 April 1942 carrying three crew, all of whom perished. Jonny was assisted by a team to ensure this dig could legally happen. To learn more about Jonny, his team who helped him with this excavation and see some of the small finds and artefacts from the crash site before the dig airs on BBC’s Digging For Britain this year.

Linen Hall Reading Group

Thursday 28 October at 1.00pm

Online Zoom event

The Linen Hall’s popular reading group meets via Zoom. September’s title for discussion is The Watch House by Bernie McGill, a former runner up in the Linen Hall’s prestigious Michael McLaverty Short Story competition.

To find out more information about current exhibits and panel discussions, go to Linen Hall Library’s website at www.linenhall.com