Larne Museum & Arts Centre is housed in the former Carnegie Free Library building in Larne.
Built in 1905, this historic building opened its doors to the public in 1906 following financial assistance from the American millionaire and philanthropist Mr Andrew Carnegie. In 2005, to commemorate its centenary year, the building was restored and renovated, retaining many of its original features. The building is also now home to Larne Art Club and Larne Drama Circle.
The Main Gallery hosts permanent displays reflecting the agricultural, industrial, military and maritime history of the area. Larne is a principal gateway into Northern Ireland and the strong maritime links of this east Antrim coastal community are portrayed through a variety of exhibits relating to the first roll-on, roll-off ferries, the Royal Navy and the Princess Victoria disaster. Larne’s rural hinterland, which includes two of the nine glens of Antrim, is well represented in the museum’s folk life display. The War and Conflict section hosts objects from the Home Rule Crisis, Larne Gun Running and the First and Second World Wars. Visitors can access accounts and memories of local people through oral history listening posts and can also browse through photographs in a digital community archive.
The ‘John Clifford Gallery’, named after the first curator of Larne & District Historical Centre, plays host to a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. These can include in-house or touring exhibitions and exhibitions by local groups and individuals.
The museum is managed by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, and forms part of the Mid and East Antrim Museum & Heritage Service alongside similar local museums in Ballymena and Carrickfergus.