“Sometimes the very simple things can tell you very profound things.”

This exhibition, which is situated in the Belfast Room, showcases the contribution made to the Ulster Museum’s collection by Tom Hartley, the celebrated local historian and former Lord Mayor of Belfast.

Over the years Tom has amassed a collection covering a wide range of items, from a bin lid featuring a portrait of Ché Guevara, to a City Hall flag protest ‘hi vis’ vest. Many of the items from his collection can also be seen in our Troubles & Beyond gallery.

A Collector's story includes objects related to his civic life in politics, and ephemera from community groups in West Belfast and beyond.

Since the beginning of the Collecting the Troubles and Beyond project in 2016 Tom has made a sustained and significant contribution to our collection. His is one of a number of large collections we have acquired recently, as part of the development of our contemporary collection.

Entry to A Collector’s Story is free as part of wider admission to Ulster Museum.

Please note - our museums are a shared space, and at times, private events take place in the Ulster Museum's Belfast Room, which means any exhibitions on display in this space will not be accessible to the public during this time. If you are travelling specifically to view an exhibition in the Belfast Room, we advise contacting the museum in advance to check the exhibition is accessible.

W2016.2.665 – Pamphlet highlighting the joint enterprise between the Mid-Shankill and Clonard areas of Belfast.
IMAGE CREDIT: W2016.2.1783 – T-shirt made in 1997 to mark the tenth anniversary of Tom Hartley’s tours of West Belfast.
IMAGE CREDIT: W2016.2.1878. Poster advertising performances of the play ‘Binlids’.