THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: City treasures to be brought together to celebrate centenary of the Linen Hall Library

From the News Letter, May 12, 1888

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 6:00 am
Photograph looking out from City Hall, Donegall Square, Belfast, in the direction of the Linen Hall Library. NLI Ref.: L_CAB_04202. Picture: National Library of Ireland

The News Letter on this day in 1888 published the following report on the forthcoming celebrations to mark the centenary of the Linen Hall Library in Belfast.

“The arrangements for the forthcoming centennial conversazione of the Linen Hall Library in the Ulster Hall promise many features of material interest to the public. The sub-committee appointed to carry out the matter have received the co-operation of so many public bodies and private friends that they expect to have the largest number of works of art, portraits, original maps and ornaments illustrative of Belfast in the eighteenth and seventeenth century every brought together,” reported the News Letter.

It added: “Amongst the treasures of local portraits the most valuable exhibit will undoubtedly of the Mall, crowded with well-known Belfast celebrities of the period (about the end of the last century) now hanging in the boardroom of the Harbour Commissioners, and most kindly lent by them together with a fine portrait of Anna, second Countess of Donegall, and many old maps.

“The ancient insignia of office, preserved at the Town Hall, comprising a mace of 1637, and other valuable objects, together with the original charter of the town will be shown by the great courtesy of the Lord Mayor (Sir J H Haslett, JP). The Water Commissioners will lend rare old maps.”

The News Letter concluded: “It is expected that the Countess of Shaftesbury will lend the old family portrait of the Donegall family now preserved in Belfast Castle.”