Belfast Central Library was opened in October 1888 by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the Marquis of Londonderry. The building was designed by the eminaent architect W. H. Lynn. The Newsroon (newspaper reading room) was the first part of the Library to be opened to the public, this was followed a month later by the opening of the Lending Library. The Reference Library was stocked and opened to the public in late 1889.Sir James Henderson donated 3,000 volumes to the Reference Library and a further 8,000 were selected with advice from the professors of Queen’s College (Queen’s University Belfast). A printed catalogue of the Library appeared in 1896. Belfast Central Library was granted United Nations depository status in 1956 and HMSO depository status in 1961.Today the stock in Central Library exceeds one million items and includes books, maps, newspapers, patents, sound recordings and government and agency publications. Much of the material in the various collections is listed on computer, while access to other sources is provided by CD Rom facilities and on-line access to more than 400 databases worldwide.