Belfast Literary Society:
1 box containing 3 bound volumes of handwritten minutes:
Volume 1 1801-1814
Volume 2 1814-1854
Volume 3 1854-1898
The minute books contain membership lists (all male) and the names of visitors attending meetings of the society which include the names of several women. For example, volume 3 notes that Miss C. Bryce, Miss Paul, Miss Todd, Mrs Taylor, Mrs Byers, Mrs Mac Donall and Miss Davison attended a lecture of the society as visitors, 2 December 1878. Volume 3 also states that Mrs Mac Donall, Mrs Hyndman, Miss Burden, Miss Gardener and Miss Margaret Burden attended a lecture as visitors and that this lecture was 'followed by the comments and criticisms of members and visitors in due order', 6 February 1888. This volume also notes that Mrs John O. Herdman, Mrs F. Megarry and Mrs Philpot attended a lecture as visitors 'at the conclusion of which the president invited in due order the other members and the visitors to discuss the subject and criticise its treatment', 11 January 1892.

Belfast Burns Association:
1 box containing 2 bound volumes of minutes:
Volume 1 1934-1939
Volume 2 1939-1947
For example, volume 1 contains a membership booklet which outlines the aims of the association as 'The encouragement of the study of Scottish Poetry, Literature and Music, and the furtherance of the Ideals of Brotherhood as expressed by Robert Burns. ...The commemoration of the Birth of Robert Burns. ...membership shall be open to both sexes and all nationalities.' The volumes contain membership and committee lists, minutes of meetings, some press cuttings of the Association's activities and printed notices of forthcoming meetings. For example, volume 2 notes, 'The subject chosen for our...discussion is "Woman's Place in Public Life" and it is expected that the ladies of the Association will welcome this opportunity to make known their views on this debatable subject', 10 March 1945. Volume 2 also notes, '"The Young Pretender - The Case For and Against" will be the subject of a debate, which will be opened by Mrs F. O'Neill, MA. A good attendance is requested, and it is hoped that members will take part in the discussion. Jacobite songs will be rendered', 6 February 1947.
Account book, 1957-1976
Membership register, 1957-1976.

Belfast Anacreontic Society:
Unsorted box of material including a bound scrapbook which includes press cuttings, printed programmes of concerts held by Belfast Anacreontic Society (known as Belfast Musical Society from the 1930s), 1817-1864. This book includes a printed tribute to Miss Catherine Hayes, a singer from Limerick and handwritten copies of letters to various Belfast newspapers relating to Belfast Anacreontic Society, 1895-1899. Concert programmes include the names of several female performers. For example, a printed programme of a concert being held in Belfast notes that the vocalist was Miss Whitham, with pianoforte by Mrs F. Robinson, 11 March 1864.
Minute book of Belfast Anacreontic Society, 1839-1899 and assorted accounts and reports of this society up to the present day.

Belfast Total Abstinence Society:
Bound, handwritten minute book, 1837-1858
This minute book records the activities and aims of the organisation which targeted the newly industrialised workers in Belfast. The membership of this organisation was exclusively male, but at a committee meeting it was 'proposed that one female shall make tea for 10 persons', 15 June 1837.

125 small volumes of over 1000 family pedigrees relating to Ulster families which were collected by R.W.H. Blackwood, 1949 and 1957.

An index of births, marriages and deaths for 1965 and 1988 complied from the 'Belfast News-Letter', which includes numerous references to women.

Methodist Church in Ireland:
Printed minutes of the Methodist annual conference 1841, 1850, 1945 and 1970
Printed report 1817.

Printed minutes of several conversations between Methodist preachers in Ireland in a Conference begun in Dublin, 1817, 1835, 1904 and 1905.

Sunday School Committee of the Methodist Church in Ireland:
Printed 2nd annual report 1822.

Belmont National Girls' School, Belfast:
Bound volume of the Organisers' Observation Book, recording the results of bi-annual inspections of teaching standards etc. at this school, 1909-1927.

Autobiography of Revd William Hamilton, late of Toronto, Canada in which he describes his early life in Garvagh, County Londonderry, c.1899. For example, 'My father's intemperance caused a separation from my mother. He returned to Ballymoney while she accompanied by a faithful and devoted servant girl called Molly Evens removed to Garvagh and opened a little millinery store which prospered greatly and enabled her to bring up Hugh her second living son born in Garvagh and John the older was taken with her to that Village. After a separation of six years a temporary re-union of my parents took place.'

Linen Hall Library, Belfast:
Volume of register of members, including the name of Mary Ann McCracken, 1790s
Volume of Management Committee minutes 1911-1927
4 boxes of unsorted material including reports, constitutions and correspondence, including letters from several women, relating to the library, 1969-1981
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1791-1793 (including 1793 rules)
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1793-1812
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1812-1825
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1925-1838
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1838-1855
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1855-1870
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1870-1879
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1880-1892
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1892-1900
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1900-1906
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1906-1911
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1911-1916
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1916-1922
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1922-1928
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1928-1939
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1940-1950
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1950-1956
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1957-1980
Minute book of the Library (General) Committee 1980-1989.

Worker's Educational Association (Northern Ireland):
Minute book of the Executive Committee and Annual General Meeting 1938-1951
The minutes are mainly handwritten and include material on adult education, policy and branch activities in the Belfast area and lists the members of the Executive Committee of the Worker's Educational Association (Northern Ireland), which includes the names of numerous women.

Committee of the Institute of Journalists (Ulster District):
Minute book 1935-1939
Minute book 1939-1948
The minutes are typed and include information on wages, working conditions, the impact of the second world war and censorship and the election of committee members.

Belfast Sunday School:
Bound volume of monthly proceedings 1809-1824
This volume includes reports of activities and mentions numerous Sunday School teachers, many of whom were women.

Belfast Sunday School [Methodist] Union:
Printed report 1831.

Donegall Square Methodist Sunday School Association:
Printed minutes and report 1834.

Wesleyan Methodist Chapel Fund Committee:
Printed 15th report 1835.

Medical Relief Register of Castlewellan Dispensary, County Down:
Bound handwritten volume, 1895-1898
This lists the name of patient, area of residence, age, disease, date they attended the dispensary or were visited at home and the prescription given, with the result of treatment noted. For example, Jane Colbert, aged 40, suffering from rheumatism, visited the dispensary and was cured after receiving 'Pot Bi Carb', 5 March 1897; Sarah Williamson, aged 50, described as a 'Dangerous Lunatic', visited at home and removed to Armagh Asylum, 17 October 1895; Mary Brannigan, aged 40, suffering from migraine, visited the dispensary and was relieved after receiving 'Mist Bronica', 1 May 1898; Lizzie McGartlin, aged 60, suffering from dropsy, visited at home, given 'Mist Diuretic' and reported to be 'Much Better', 5 May 1898; Catherine McGarry, aged 36, suffering from parturition, visited at home, was attended and her condition listed as better, 27 and 29 May 1898; Ellen Hughes, aged 43, suffering from apoplexy, visited at home, given 'Mist Bromia[,] Puer Calomel [and] Evaporating Salts[?] to Head' but died, 11, 12 and 13 June 1898.

A copy of a black and white videotaped interview of Betty Sinclair by Lynda Walker, Belfast in which Sinclair answers a variety of questions at length on her life and career and gives information on her family background, her thoughts on feminism and an account of the first time she went to the Soviet Union, travelling by ship in 1933, recorded 1980.

Belfast County Borough Council [renamed Belfast Corporation]:
177 volumes of minutes, including the minutes of main council meetings, in addition to council committee minutes, for example, the public health committee:
July 1899 (boxed and unbound)
December 1906-March 1907 (the minutes are bound from this date onwards)
May-December 1907
January 1908-December 1915
January-September 1916
January 1917-December 1918
January-September 1919
October-December 1924
1925-1956; 1957
January-March 1958
May-June 1958
July-December 1958
January-July 1973
September 1973
March-July 1974
September-December 1974
January-July 1975
September-December 1975
January-July 1976
September-December 1976
January-July 1977
September-December 1977
January-June 1978
July 1978
September-December 1978
January-July 1979
September-December 1979
January-July 1980
September-December 1980
January-July 1981
September-December 1981
January-July 1982
September-December 1982
January-July 1983
September-December 1983
January-April 1984
June 1984
July 1984
December 1984
8 monthly volumes for 1985, with the exception of January, July and December (council meetings were not held between December 1985 and January 1987)
10 monthly volumes for 1987
10 monthly volumes for 1988, with the exception of April
11 monthly volumes for 1989, with the exception of October
11 monthly volumes for 1990, with the exception of August
11 monthly volumes for 1991, with 2 volumes for December and with the exception of July and August
11 monthly volumes for 1992, with the exception of August
11 monthly volumes for 1993, with the exception of August
11 monthly volumes for 1994, with the exception of August
11 monthly volumes for 1995, with the exception of August
11 monthly volumes for 1996, with the exception of August
10 monthly volumes for 1997, with the exception of August and September
9 monthly volumes to October 1998, with the exception of July

Henry Joy Papers:
13 volumes of manuscripts compiled by Henry Joy, including:
A 4 volume history of the province of Ulster from the earliest times-1800 (3 volumes concentrate on the period 1500-1800), c.1800
A volume of materials, mostly of antiquarian and political interest, intended for use for a history of Belfast from the earliest times and including numerous references to women who were active in Belfast Charitable Society and to women who were assisted by charity, c.1800
Additional volumes of the Joy manuscripts include letters from various correspondents, c.1800. At the time of going to press these papers are uncatalogued, but it is expected that a calendar of this material will be available by c.2001.

Belfast Philharmonic Society:
Bound handwritten volume of annual reports of the Honorary Secretary, including lists of members, many of whom were women, 1884-1944.

Belfast Singers:
Bound minute book containing several references to women as a considerable proportion of the members of this organisation were female, 1933-1937.

Bound, handwritten subscription list for the 'Belfast News-Letter', which includes the names of numerous women, 1795-1797.

14 bound volumes of postcards, including many images of women, such as suffragette postcards, various depictions of women on unionist anti-home rule postcards and postcards of actresses and music hall performers etc., late 19th-20th century.

Collection of c.55,000 photographs from Pacemaker Photographic Agency, Belfast which form an extensive photo journalistic archive of the troubles in Northern Ireland, including numerous photographs of women in street scenes and also of the Peace People and political figures such as Bernadette Devlin, Betty Williams and Mariead Corrigan, c.1966-1977. Access to this collection is restricted as the material is currently uncatalogued.

Collection of c.2500-3000 photographs of the Shankill Road in Belfast, taken by Buzz Logan, including numerous photographs of local women in street scenes etc.,1940s-1950s. Access to this collection is restricted as the material is currently uncatalogued.

Theatre Archive:
This collection relates to various theatres in Ulster, such as the New Theatre Royal, the Grand Opera House, the Royal Hippodrome, the Grove Theatre, the Empire Theatre, the Ulster Literary Theatre, the Ulster Group Theatre, the Lyric Theatre and theatre production companies, for example, Replay Productions, the Northern Drama League and Tinderbox Theatre Company. The collection, of several thousand items, comprises of handbills, typescripts and manuscripts of plays, scrapbooks, press cuttings, cast and productions lists, posters and photographs, many of which include women. The following is a selection of some of the material which is available:
Poster advertising 'Theatre Royal', a private theatrical performance held under the patronage of the Marchioness of Downshire and featuring the comic opera, 'No Song, No Supper', held at Hillsborough in County Down, no date, mid 19th Century
Postcard of Phyllis Dare featured as 'Yvette' in a production of 'The Street Singer', 1924
Wages and account book for the Theatre Royal, Belfast, 1871-1901
Programme of 'The Heart's a Wonder', a musical version of 'The Playboy of the Western World' by J.M. Synge adapted by Mairian and Nuala O'Farrell at the Grove Theatre, Belfast, 1965
Caricatures of members of the Lyric Theatre Company, Belfast by Gladys Maccabe, 1968
Photograph of the cast of 'The Street' by John Boyd, produced at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, including several women, 1977
Programme and stage manager's book of Charabanc Theatre Company's production of 'Oul Delf and False Teeth' by Marie Jones and the company in association with Pam Brighton and Martin Lynch, 1984
Costume designs by Anne Whittaker for 'The Plough and the Stars' by Sean O'Casey, produced at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, 1988.
A useful publication is Ophelia Byrne, 'The Stage in Ulster from the eighteenth century: Selected from the Theatre Archive of the Linen Hall Library (Belfast, 1997).

Belfast and District Trade Union Council:
6 boxes of material:
Box 1:
Minute book 1885-1889
Minute book 1893-1894
Minute book 1894-1895
Printed material, including the Parliamentary Committee on trades council reports for 1885 and 1891.
Box 2:
Minute book 1897-1898
Minute book 1898-1900
Minute book 1902-1903
Minute book of the Executive Committee of Belfast and District Trade Union Council 1899-1900
Minute book of the Executive Committee of Belfast and District Trade Union Council 1900-1901
Minute book of the Executive Committee of Belfast and District Trade Union Council February-December 1901.
Box 3:
Minute book 1906
Minute book 1909-1912
Minute book 1912-1916.
Box 4:
Minute book 1934-1938
Minute book 1945-1946
Minute book 1946-1947
Minute book 1947-1948
Minute book 1948-1949
Minute book 1949-1950
Minute book 1950-1951
Minute book 1952
For example, minutes of a council meeting stated that the council's secretary, Miss Betty Sinclair, 'gave a short report of the interview by the Deputation from the Housing Conference with the Special Housing Committee of the Belfast Corporation. She stated that the Committee did not seem as if they could grapple with the housing problem in the way that was needed', 16 September 1948; minutes of a council meeting noted that 'Miss Sinclair, F. and OTWTU reported increase of 5/- per week for males, 4/- for the Spinning Trade', 16 February 1951; minutes of a council meeting noted that, 'Miss Flynn, NUTGW [National Union of Transport and General Workers] reported that the Ministry of Labour had stated that the system of payment of holiday pay on the basis of earning was too complicated and had referred it back to the Wages Council', 7 February 1952.
Box 5:
6 volumes of yearly minutes of Belfast and District Trade Union Council 1952-1957
Accounts ledger for Belfast and District Trade Union Council 1955-1960
Attendance book for the Executive Committee of the Belfast and District Trade Union Council 1953-1970.
Box 6:
11 volumes of yearly minutes of the Belfast and District Trade Union Council 1958-1965 and 1968-1970
Attendance book for the Executive Committee of the Belfast and District Trade Union Council 1970-1974.

Miss Eva McKee Papers:
c.5 letters to Miss Eva McKee of the Irish Decorative Art Association and a member of the Guild of Irish Art Workers, relating to the arts and crafts shop which she ran in Fountain Street, Belfast, 1920s
c.30-35 embossed metal printing plates showing Celtic Revival/Arts and Crafts movement designs, 1920s
Printed exhibition catalogues relating to the Celtic Revival/Arts and Crafts movement, 1920s.
A useful publication is Paul Larmour, 'The Arts and Crafts Movement in Ireland' (Belfast, 1992).

Belfast Charitable Society, Clifton House, Belfast Papers:
At the time of going to press this collection was uncatalogued and was unavailable for research purposes. It is expected that the listing of material will be completed by 2001. The collection includes, for example:
Minute books, letters and accounts of Belfast Charitable Society, 1752-1990s
Registers of admission to Clifton House from its establishment, 1773
Minute book of the Ladies' Committee, headed by Mary Anne McCracken, 1837-1851
Microfilmed copies of many of these records are also available at the Linen Hall Library, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and at Clifton House, North Queen Street, Belfast.
Useful publications are R.W.M. Strain, 'Belfast and its Charitable Society: a story of urban social development' (London and New York, 1961) and R.W.M. Strain, 'The History and Associations of the Belfast Charitable Society (Belfast, 1967).

R.W.M. Strain Papers:
Typescripts of R.W.M. Strain's notes and research notes relating to his history of Belfast Charitable Society, 1950s.

AccessWhile generally access to material is open to researchers there may be restrictions on some collections.
Century18th,19th, 20th
Repository NameLinen Hall Library
Address17 Donegall Square North Belfast
UK Postal CodeBT1 5GB
Telephone+44 28-9032-1707
Repository Web Address
Repository Web Address 2
CommentSome of the information listed from this repository has been extracted from lists prepared by Dr Eoin Magennis and we are grateful for his assistance. Where partial or no lists were available staff of the Women's History Project constructed an outline list. It must be remembered that due to time constraints not all items in this repository were examined individually. Many of the items held by the Linen Hall have been digitised and are available online through the Extraordinary Women NI Project.