At any one time, only a small fraction of our archive and artefact materials can be viewed, as part of our regular exhibitions within Clifton House. These exhibitions change regularly throughout the year, and generally help to support the theme or story we want to tell at the time. All items within the exhibitions are records or artefacts belonging to the Belfast Charitable Society, some of which are dated from the early 1700s.

The exhibitions can be enjoyed by visitors to Clifton House, as part of our regular tours.

Below are some examples of our exhibitions to date


Mary Ann McCracken at 250

2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of the social reformer, philanthropist and abolitionist Mary Ann McCracken. Our exhibition highlighted the unique holdings of the Charitable Society’s archive related to her life including the Ladies Committee Minute Books (1827-1851), the surrender of her lease on a property in Donegall Street, and her burial in the shadow of the Poor House. Click on the image to READ MORE.


Women & Philanthropy

This exhibition charts the involvement of women in the history of Belfast Charitable Society. The early history focuses on the foundation of the Lying-In Hospital (1793), Belfast’s first maternity hospital and the Ladies Committee who championed the cause of women and children in the Poor House. It also explores the role of Clifton House training nurses in the 1940s and our first female President, Lady Moyra Quigley. Click on the image to READ MORE.