extraORDINARYwomen: Supporting Communities (1965-today)

extraORDINARYwomen is a groundbreaking collections-based community driven heritage project of engagement, creativity and skills development. This project will digitally preserve and make accessible unique materials in our archives about women and collect new stories relating to issues affecting women of all generations in Northern Ireland. It will highlight activism, change, influencing and the experience of ‘ordinary’ women during the ‘extraordinary normality’ of the time. Examining roles and attitudes in Northern Ireland during a momentous period of recent history, the project focuses on women supporting and raising each other up!

Utilising culturally and historically significant collections – including political, literary, theatre, Traveller and LGBTQ+ archives – this project will illuminate and celebrate the lived experience of women. It will drive inspiring community engagement programmes, develop skills and creativity, curate exhibitions, and capture oral reminiscence, and responses to contemporary issues affecting women of all generations in Northern Ireland.


ExtraOrdinaryWomen blog image

Read the extraORDINARYwomen blogs to hear stories about recent women’s history in Northern Ireland – the challenges, the achievements, all inspired by the collections held at the Linen Hall Library.

Click here to read the blog.


Join us for extraORDINARYwomen Public Programmes

Introducing the extraORDINARYwomen Public Programme, your opportunity to help us make history and boost the presence of women within our collections for future generations. Through an array of FREE creative workshops, Living Library talks, and exhibitions we want your help to record the stories, successes and struggles of women in our communities since 1965. You will work with leading artists and archivists, and talk to some of the prominent women in Northern Ireland who have shaped our recent history. Plus you will have plenty of opportunity to preserve your own voice, experiences and creativity in our permanent collection.


The project is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund Northern Ireland, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Reconciliation Fund (Ireland), The Foyle Foundation, Department for Communities and Tourism NI


Staff contacts:

Monica Cash, Project Manager; m.cash@linenhall.com
Contact Monica for project management queries

Rachel Brady, Curator; r.brady@linenhall.com
Contact Rachel for details about upcoming exhibitions and archive/ artefact loans

Alistair Gordon, Senior Archive Assistant; a.gordon@linenhall.com
Contact Alistair about donations to the collection

Kate Grimshaw, Colum Mc Grath, Ailie O’ Hagan, and Hannah Gallagher – Archive Assistants

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