The Linen Hall Library Archives Collection comprises the minutes and other records of the Belfast Library and Society for Promoting Knowledge since its foundation in 1788. The books contain the history of the society and record its development from a small reading society into a resource for the study of Irish history known worldwide. There are minutes of meetings (handwritten) and published annual reports. The collection also includes lists of members for the years 1936-1973. The earliest list of members preserves the name of Henry Joy McCracken, but also reveals that he went to the scaffold owing the library about £1.30 in arrears of subscription! This debt was paid in by a descendant of the McCrackens in September 2001.
This collection charts the development of the Linen Hall Library from its inception in 1788 to the present day.