Irish Language Collection

The Irish Language Collection at the Linen Hall Library is the largest collection of the languages of Ulster held at the Linen Hall Library. It consists of books, periodicals, off-prints of articles from magazines and some newspaper cuttings files. Subjects covered in the collection range from social history, biographies through to material which might be useful to a student of the Irish language. In 1793 the Governors of the Library determined to collect manuscripts in the Irish language "from such gentlemen known to be possed of them". The first periodical to be published in the Irish language - Bolg an tSolathair, was published as a result of a collaboration between George Russell (second Librarian and founder member of the United Irish Men), Charlotte Brooke and Padraig O' Loinsigh of Loughlinisland, County Down. Titles of note in the collection include Bolg an tSolathair (1795), signed by Robert McAdam, Neilson's An Introduction to the Irish Language (1843), the famous Bedell's Bible (1820) and The Church Catechism in Irish (printed by James Blow of Belfast in 1722), thought to be the oldest Irish book printed in Ulster, also worthy of note is the MacCurtin Dictionary - this is an Irish-English dictionary which was published abroad (Paris) in 1732.


The Linen Hall Library holds one of the few remaining copies of the oldest Irish Language book printed in Ulster - the Rathlin Catechism, printed in Belfast in 1722.

Physical characteristics

6 bays of material.

Description or Catalogue - select Catalogue


Accrual Policy
Accrual Method
Accrual Periodicity

Acquisition of material for this collection was sporadic initially, it has been treated as a separate collection since 1988.

Added by Linen Hall Library | Last updated on: 09 July 2020