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Modern History

Booking is essential. Please telephone Rosemary Stewart  028 9044 0100 before 12 noon or email 

For Year 8 upwards and community groups

Available throughout the year.

The Modern History Gallery can support the History Curriculum by offering a unique opportunity for pupils to gain insight into cultural, social, economic and political change in Ireland within a global context.

The period 1550 – 1980 is explored using a multi-layered methodology underpinned by current scholarly research which reveals the connectivity and interdependencies of our shared history. There are 5 distinct sections

  • Birth of Modern Ulster 1500-1700
  • Between Two Revolutions 1700-1800
  • An Industrial Giant and the Shadow of Poverty 1800-1900
  • Home Rule to Partition 1900-1923
  • Living on a Divided Island 1923-1968

Chronology is clearly illustrated in a user friendly timeline spanning the length of the galleries.

To facilitate self-guided investigation of the Modern History galleries teachers can download the Modern History Gallery familiarisation guide which offers the group leader support in guiding their class through the galleries. It provides introductory information, key facts, suggested gateway objects and questions relating to the 5 historical time periods. This activity will give pupils an understanding and overview of the chronology of key events and of continuity and change during the period 1500-1968. There will be the opportunity to investigate primary evidence and to further historical knowledge through discussion and debate.

The themes of Symbols, Small World, Family, Media and People in Focus can be explored in depth by using the Gallery Investigative Tools Activity

After completing group investigation there is an option to attend a Curator Surgery where the group can discuss their findings with a History Curator. Please contact for availability.


Learning from Artefacts: World War One

Session Outline
In this object based workshop, students explore the impact of the World War One through themes such as life in the trenches, the role of women, and how those at home were affected by examining genuine artefacts and personal stories from NMNI collections.
·         Gathering evidence from artefacts and other material from NMNI’s collections
·         Working effectively in teams to carry out an investigation
·         Presenting findings to the rest of the group
·         Historical interpretation and enquiry
·         Speaking and listening
·         Learning how to handle museum artefacts
·         Using photographs, clothing and everyday objects to find out how different people were affected by the war
·         Developing thinking skills through reasoning, deduction and problem solving

Gallery Learning Activities
Additional information:
  • Session Length: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cost: £60

Exploring the First World War through Drama

October 12th, 13th, 14th and 19th, 20th and 21st

10.15 - 12.15

Workshop Outline

In this object based workshop, students investigate the impact of the World War One by gathering evidence from photographs, artefacts, documents and other material from NMNI’s Collections and examine different perspectives through the themes of life in the trenches, the role of women and the home front.

Working with a drama practitioner the group will explore WW1 through poetry and selected texts and images which have a specific Irish context .They will experiment with different ways to respond to this research through the medium of drama.

There will also be an opportunity for classes to visit the new Modern History gallery at the Ulster Museum.

  • Cost £60