The love of books is among the choicest gifts of the gods.

Arthur Conan Doyle



With the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Enkalon Foundation (and powered by BiblioSafe), the Linen Hall Library is cataloguing, conserving and making accessible to the widest public its hidden treasures. Material relating to many aspects of Irish history and culture are now accessible to researchers using turn-page technology.

To begin the project we have made accessible the following works:

Poems in the Scottish Dialect by Robert Burns

Belfast: Printed and Sold by James Magee, No. 9 Bridge Street, 1787

This is the first printing of the poetry of the Scottish Poet, Robert Burns, outside Scotland. It is based on the Edinburgh 1787 (second) edition; one year after the Kilmarnock edition.

Coming soon... »


The Church Catechism in Irish [The Rathlin Catechism]

Belfast: Printed by James Blow, 1722.

The Church Catechism in Irish, with the English placed over against it in the same Karakter.

The Church Catechism was commissioned by the Bishop of Down and Connor, Francis Hutchinson, in an attempt to convert the Irish-speaking catholic population of Rathlin Island, Co. Antrim, to Protestantism. Written phonetically, the Catechism is a valuable record of spoken Ulster Irish in the early part of the eighteenth century.

Coming soon... »


Doctrine of Chances, by William Rouse

or the Theory of Gaming made easy to every person acquainted with common arithmetic, so as to enable them to calculate the probabilities of events in Lotteries, Cards, Horse racing, Dice etc...

London: Lockington, Allen and Co., 1814

The chapter on Lotteries explains arithmetically one's chances of winning the Lottery.

Coming soon... »

Chinese Tortures of Prisoners - Early nineteenth century

Donated by the poet, John Hewitt

"My trade takes me frequently into decaying houses,
House not literally in the sense of gaping roof...
But house usually represented by a very old woman
Who bears a name once famous for trade or wealth
Or skill or simply breading
And is the last of that name...

Another, younger, a spinster, led me up to an attic,
offering antlered heads, and a ship in a bottle,
and an ivory rickshaw model.

I selected a rough-edged book in wooden covers, watercolours on worm-holed rice paper, with unstuck silk
- a series of Chinese tortures of prisoners."

Coming soon... »

Contemporary account of the Battle of the Boyne

The London Gazette. From Monday July 7 to Thursday July 10. 1690

"From his majesty's camp near Swords, within 9 miles of Dublin, July 4. The King having forced the passages of the River Boyne, and given the Enemy an entire defeat on the 1st instant (of which you have already had a Particular Relation) His Majesty encampt here to rest His Army, after the great Fatigue they had undergone..."

Coming soon... »