The museum holds an extensive collection of historical documents relating both to the Glorious Revolution and the reign of King William III and Queen Mary II, and to the history of Orangeism. Included amongst these is the book known as the Paymasters General’s book, which details the accounts of the Williamite forces in Ireland from June 1690 to March 1691. Other artefacts of interest are a handwritten letter giving an account of the battle, and a letter from King William sending instructions to the Earl of Carnarfon.
Early Orange Order artefacts include the original Grand Lodge minute book, and private lodge minute books dating back to 1796. We have documents relating to Orangeism around the world as well as historical minute books and roll books from local lodges. There are also documents of wider historical significance, such as parliamentary reports and Home Rule period artefacts.
Visiting the archive
- The library and archive can only be visited by request and an appointment should be made by contacting Museum of Orange Heritage on 028 9070 1122. Photocopying and printing will be charged.
- Clear plastic bags can be provided for pencils and other small personal items. Pens, erasers and sharp instruments – pencil sharpeners, scissors, hole-punchers, staplers, etc. cannot be taken into the reading room.
- Files, folders, ring binders, notepad wallets and pencil cases may not be brought into the reading room.
- Mobile phones, cameras, scanners, radios/personal stereos are not permitted in the reading room. However, laptops may be used.
- Visitors must not remove documents from the rooms – requests for copying documents should be made to a member of staff.
- There is no eating or drinking in the reading room.
- The room will be invigilated while it is in use.
Please note that due to the high volume of enquiries we receive, there is a waiting period of three to six months before these can be dealt with.
What sort of information can we find?
Please be aware that there is no central database of all members of the Loyal Orange Institution, as each lodge held its own records. Therefore, when searching for a particular person, we need to have:
- a full name
- an address or townland
- the number of the lodge to which they belonged
- a time period
Please also be aware that lodge roll books rarely have more information that a member’s name and sometimes an address. Information such as dates of birth, occupation, or related family members is not available as this information would not historically have been recorded. Also many of these historical documents have been lost or destroyed over the years and the information no longer exists. If members held office, it may be possible to find a reference to them in annual report books, but again, there is little information other than names and addresses.
It is often the case that, for information from private lodges, we may have to contact lodge secretaries, which can take time. It is not possible to give out the contact details of private lodge or district secretaries, however, your contact details may be passed on to them if it is beneficial to your enquiry and if you agree to it. You will be consulted prior to any information being passed on.
The majority of the information that is held at the Museum of Orange Heritage relates to the Loyal Orange Order in Ireland. Enquiries about lodges in any other jurisdiction should to be sent directly to them.
Occasionally individual lodges have websites or Facebook accounts, and it may be more expedient for you to approach the lodge that way.