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Ian knox and the yes campaign

The Light and Dark of Northern Ireland Political Cartoonery Features in new Linen Hall Exhibition


The Linen Hall launches a new exhibition and celebrate Scottish poet Robert Burns' birthday with a selection of guest events and discussions

An old Irish proverb states ‘a good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.’ In the new Linen Hall exhibition, Laughter in the Dark – Illustrating the Troubles, launching on 8 January, this proverb will be put to the test. The birth and rise of the political cartoon and its important role in Northern Ireland’s history will be investigated.

In January we also celebrate Scottish poet Robert Burns’ birthday with a talk about our Burns’ collection, the largest outside of Scotland; and mark Holocaust Memorial Day with a talk by Dr Barbara Warnock from London’s Wiener Library.

The January schedule is as follows:

Laughter in the Dark – Illustrating the Troubles

8 – 30 January/ exhibition/ free

A new Linen Hall exhibition which charts the birth and rise of the political cartoon and its important role in the political landscape of Northern Ireland. Features examples of original artwork by well-known cartoonists Rowel Friers and Ian Knox. The exhibition is part of the Library’s Divided Society project which is digitising large parts of the Northern Ireland Political Collection.

Capturing the Past – Photographic Collections at PRONI with Lorraine Bourke and Joy Carey

Wednesday 10 January at 1.00pm/ lecture/ free

Continues the series of lectures by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. In this lecture the many images held within PRONI’s archives are illuminated. Also discussed is the digitisation work being carried out to preserve these wonderful collections.

Irish Book Club

Saturday 13 January at 11.00am/ Irish language/ free

Speak Irish? Or want to brush up on your skills? Take part in our free Irish book club. This month’s title is Conaire Mór – Seacht nDoras na Cinniúna by Diarmuid Johnson.

Cartoon Workshop with PJ Holden (2000 AD, Judge Dredd, Fearless)

Monday 22 January at 11.30am – 13.00pm/ workshop/ free

Learn to draw a Northern Ireland superhero and villain under the expert tutelage of leading cartoonist PJ Holden.

Holocaust Memorial Day

A Proud History? Britain and the Kindertransport 1938 – 1940 with Dr Barbara Warnock, Wiener Library London

Tuesday 23 January at 1.00pm/ talk/ free

Dr Barbara Warnock outlines the story of Britain and the Kindertransport, which transported children to places of safety nine months after the Nazi occupation of Austria. The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide is Britain’s main Holocaust library and contains the oldest collection of its kind in the world.

Burns Day Andrew Gibson Memorial Lecture

Global Vision, Vernacular Voice with Dr Frank Ferguson

Thursday 25 January at 1.00pm/ lecture/ free

Today Burns’ fans all over the world will don their tartans and toast the Bard! Dr Ferguson traces this poetic genius’s early reception in Ireland and the United States.

Robert Burns International Reception

Thursday 25 January at 2.00pm/ reception/ free

The Ulster-Scots Agency will mark Burns’ Day by laying a wreath at the Linen Hall’s Robert Burns’ statue located in the main reception area of the Library.

Linen Hall Reading Group

Thursday 25 January at 1.10pm/ discussion/ free

All are welcome to join in the discussion and debate of the selected title of the month. This month’s chosen book is Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer.

For more information about the Linen Hall Library please visit our website at