Day-long Tour 2: North
Libraries: Linen Hall Library, Belfast Central Libraries and Queen’s University Belfast Library
Type of Library: special, public and academic
Total Distance Return Trip: 338 km
Meeting Point: Convention Centre Dublin
Price per Person: € 22
Important: Delegates are required to have a UK visa for this tour. For more visa information, please click here.
Visit Northern Ireland’s beautiful Belfast city. Start with a visit to the Linen Hall, founded in 1788, and the oldest library in Belfast. The Library is housed in a stunning Victorian former linen warehouse in the picturesque Donegall Square, across from Belfast City Hall. It is renowned for its Irish and Local Studies collections, with fantastic resources to support genealogy and the study of family histories. The library houses rare and unique collections ranging from comprehensive holdings of Early Belfast and Provincial printed books, the Robert Burns collection, strong Irish Language and Ulster-Scots collections, and the 350,000 items in the Northern Ireland Political Collection, the definitive archive of the recent ‘troubles’ and peace process
Afterwards, take a short stroll to Belfast Central Library. Belfast Central Library was officially opened in October 1888 on the same day that Belfast was granted city status. The beautiful Victorian building is Grade A listed and remains largely unchanged over the years. The Fine Book Room houses one of the best collections of old and beautifully produced books in Ireland. It has fine examples of early publications and important European texts dating from 1470. The Heritage collections comprise over 80,000 volumes and are the most comprehensive in subject matter relating to Belfast, the province of Ulster and Ireland. The periodical collection holds over 25,000 historic volumes from the eighteenth century onwards. Belfast Central Library holds the largest newspaper archive in Northern Ireland and is one of the most heavily used collections in the library.
After spending time in Belfast city, finish the day with a visit to the McClay Library in Queen’s University Belfast. Opened in 2009, the landmark McClay library building was the recipient of the 2013 SCONUL Library Design Award for its outstanding design facilities and services. The McClay Library provides access to over 2,000 reader spaces, 33 group study rooms and 1.5m volumes. Facilities include IT training rooms, a Language Centre, support areas and a cafe, as well as the University’s Special Collections, subject-related enquiry points and a vast range of printed works. The Library has recently been significantly enhanced recently with increased study spaces, PC provision and an extended student lounge. The library offers the highest quality services to students, and has achieved Customer Services Excellence, an independent accreditation of the quality and standard of its customer service.