Selection of images from the political collection
Selection of images from the political collection
Selection of images from the political collection
Selection of images from the political collection
Selection of images from the political collection
Selection of images from the political collection

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What is Divided Society?

Since the late 1960s the Linen Hall Library in Belfast has been collecting material relating to the conflict in Northern Ireland. Over the years the Library has become the repository for a huge amount of material relating to the subject and the subsequent peace process.

The Northern Ireland Political Collection now consists of over 350,000 items including books, pamphlets, leaflets, posters, manifestos, press releases, newspapers, objects and many thousands of periodicals. It is a completely unique collection that is unrivalled throughout the world.


The Divided Society project has digitised and catalogued a significant section of the Northern Ireland Political Collection.  Over 500 periodical titles relating to the conflict and peace process are available to search and consult. These are publications that were published between 1990-1998 in the UK, Ireland and further afield, and documented the issues that affected Northern Ireland during that period.

The publications come from a variety of perspectives including political parties, community groups, voluntary groups, pressure groups, local and national government, and paramilitaries. Over eight hundred political posters have also been digitised.

Education and Outreach

Education and Outreach was an important part of the project. This included an intergenerational reminiscence project involving community groups discussing the conflict alongside students from schools and universities. Audio recordings from this work are available in the Outreach section along with six educational toolkits. Two exhibitions were commissioned and are available to exhibit in other spaces. The first, We Lived It – the Social Impact of the Troubles, uses material from the Collection and personal stories gathered during the project. The second, Laughter in the Dark – Illustrating the Troubles, examines how political cartoons were used to depict, explain and challenge the conflict.

Divided Society is a unique and important resource that explores a critical time in Northern Ireland’s history.

The Resource Features

  • newspaper-o


    Over 500 journal titles, comprising hundreds of individual issues and thousands of articles, published between 1990 and 1998. 

  • file-image-o


    Hundreds of political posters including key iconic images from the nineties.

  • headphones


    Over 25 audio clips featuring interviews undertaken during the project’s intergenerational reminiscence project.

  • video-camera


    TV news clips focused on key political moments, such as the IRA Ceasefire and the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

  • pencil


    Six educational toolkits are available to download. These are aimed at GCSE History students and anyone else with an interest in the time period.

  • file-text-o


    Ten exclusive essays by leading academics focused on the Divided Society themes. These essays contextualise the digitised content and expand on key issues and ideas.

Resource pricing

Access to Divided Society is free if you are within the UK and Ireland. There are a range of options available for individuals and organisations outside the UK and Ireland.

  • user


    UK and Ireland users

    • Access is completely free for individual users within the UK and Ireland.
    • View the entire archive.
  • user


    Individual users outside the UK and Ireland

    • Monthly subscription fee of £50 for non-academic international and U.S Individuals. No hosting fee.
    • (VAT charges may apply in certain territories.)
  • bank



    Universities, Public Bodies and other institutions

    • Perpetual access fee of £15,000 (excluding annual hosting fee of £150).
    • Three-year access fee of £3,000. No annual hosting fee.
    • Annual access fee of £1,500 No annual hosting fee.
    • (VAT charges may apply in certain territories.)