Our Museums

History Collections

Our history collections are displayed and interpreted across all four of our museums.

Collections Online


These collections span the time from the arrival of Ireland’s first Mesolithic settlers (c. 8000 BC) up to the later Medieval period (c. AD 1500). The vast majority of the collection is local but it includes material from the Spanish Armada wrecks of the Girona and La Trinidad Valencera.

Modern History 

Collections covering the period from 1500 to the present day. It is a multi-disciplinary collection that illuminates themes of social and cultural history, war and conflict, politics and economic history.

World Cultures

This collection numbers some 4,500 items. It is closely linked to the history of the Ulster Museum and primarily covers material from the Arctic, Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania (including Australia and New Zealand).  In light of the decolonisation agenda within museums the implementation of a new approach to these collections is a priority for National Museums NI. We aim to be open and collaborative in our actions, to include multiple perspectives and encourage dialogue.


These collections are concerned primarily with social history surrounding the migration of people from Ulster and their settlement in North America from 1600 to the present day.

Folk Life and Agriculture 

These collections focus on ways of life and traditions of the people of Ulster from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.


The transport collections cover all forms of transport built or used in Ireland, from the late eighteenth century to the present day, including road, rail, maritime and aviation.