My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.

Abraham Lincoln



Theatre Archive

The Linen Hall Library's Theatre & Performing Arts Archive is the primary source of theatrical material from Northern Ireland. Our collection ranges from 18th century playscripts to the most modern developments in the theatrical life of Northern Ireland.

At present, the Archive comprises several thousand original programmes, handbills, posters, photographs, letters, news cuttings and major holdings of unpublished scripts. The largest part of our material is theatrical, but music, opera, film and dance are also represented.

Together the Collection gives eloquent testimony to the rich and diverse cultural life that has existed throughout our history. Many different types of researchers use the Collection for many different purposes. All are welcome.

You can now access the Digital Theatre Archive

The Archive has produced three publications (listed below), all of which illuminate its holdings. They can be purchased from the Library through our online shop.

State of Play?
ed. by Ophelia Byrne
A look at the development of playwriting throughout the 20th Century in Ulster or Northern Ireland, this publication features extracts, contemporary reviews and photographs.

The Theatre in Ulster
by Ophelia Byrne
A fascinating account of the history of theatre in Ulster, using the collections of the Theatre Archive as its focus.

Its Own Way Of Things - A Celebration of the Ulster Literary Theatre
ed. by Hugh Odling-Smee
This celebration document marks the 100th anniversary of the Ulster Literary Theatre's first performance. The ULT were Northern Ireland's first independent theatre company.

An Old Playbill From The Grand Opera House in BelfastJOHN BOYD
This large collection spans the cultural and social life of Northern Ireland in the 20th century. It contains correspondence, scripts, unpublished poetry and writings by both John Boyd and major figures in Northern Irish literature from the last seventy years.

A Guide to the John Boyd Collection at the Linen Hall Library
Available free.  Pick up your copy at the main desk on Level 2.

For further information, please contact:

Irish & Reference Department
T: 028 9032 1707

Ulster Bank Ltd
The Theatre & Performing Arts Archive is sponsored by the Ulster Bank Ltd.