The Armagh Natural History and Philosophical Society was established in 1839 and evolved from the Armagh Mechanics Institute founded in 1825. Its object was “the promotion of the knowledge of Philosophy, Natural History and Archaeology”, and it is one of the oldest surviving societies of its kind in Ireland and the oldest learned society in Armagh.
In 1856 the Society acquired the former Mall School and developed a museum, library and reading room.
The Society’s collection was ultimately taken into the care of the Armagh County Museum, now housed in the same building, the Society having retained its fine reading room which occupies the full extent of the columned facade.
The original rules provided that the Society shall:
This remains the purpose of the Society, and members believe that such objectives have an undiminished relevance today.
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