Dr Robert Whan is Director of Armagh Robinson Library and No 5 Vicars’ Hill, Armagh. Established in 1771, the Library is the oldest public library in Northern Ireland, an accredited museum and popular tourist attraction being one of only 20 venues in Northern Ireland to feature in The Lonely Planet Guide’s ‘Top 500 Places to Visit in the UK’. Among the collections bequeathed by the Library’s founder, Archbishop Richard Robinson (1708-1794), is a collection of over 4,000 sixteenth- to eighteenth-century prints – a rare example in the British Isles of an intact print collection put together in the eighteenth century.
Dr Whan is also a National Museums Northern Ireland Board Member, which oversees the Ulster Museum in Belfast, the Ulster Folk Museum and the Ulster Transport Museum at Cultra, and the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh. In addition, he is a member of the CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) Ireland Committee, and North-South Liaison Officer with the Library Association of Ireland.
A Fellow of both the Royal Historical Society and the Higher Education Academy, and a Visiting Research Fellow attached to Queen’s University Belfast, he has published on art collecting and commissioning activities (particularly paintings and prints) in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Ulster.