Working Class Movement Library

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51 The Crescent
Greater Manchester
M5 4WX

  • Phone: 0161 736 3601

Working people have always struggled to get their voices heard. The Working Class Movement Library records over 200 years of organising and campaigning by ordinary men and women. Our collection provides a rich insight into working people's daily lives as well as their thoughts, hopes, fears and the roles they played in the significant events of their time. We have information on: • The trades and lives of people who worked in the past - brushmakers, silk workers, tailors, boilermakers and others • Trade unions, where people have banded together to improve their working conditions • Politics and campaigns, from Chartism to the General Strike and more recent protests • Creativity and culture - drama, literature, music, art and leisure • Important people who have led activist lives • International events such as the Spanish Civil War, and aspects of Irish history Much of this information is held in books, pamphlets or leaflets. Many more stories are told by our photos, banners and tape recordings. Our collection captures many points of view to tell the story of Britain's working classes from the beginning of industrialisation to the present day. Our oldest items date from the 1760s. From the 1820s we have some of the earliest trade union documents to have survived. We have material on politics of all shades and come right up to date with the archive of Jim Allen, the Manchester-born screenwriter who worked on Coronation Street and collaborated with film director Ken Loach.

Further information

Opening Hours:

Tuesday 10.00a.m. until 5.00p.m. Wednesday 10.00a.m. until 5.00p.m. Thursday 10.00a.m. until 5.00p.m. Friday 10.00a.m. until 5.00p.m. Saturday 10.00a.m. until 4.00p.m - third Sat of each month only, and by appointment Closed: Sundays, Mondays


Admission to the library is free.

Upcoming events:

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.

Facilities and services


  • Toilets
  • Library with public access
  • Meeting room available
  • Parking for disabled available
  • Study facilities
  • Toilets for disabled
  • Wheelchair access to all public areas

Facilities information:

Everyone is welcome to drop by to view our ground floor displays. To use the reading room to study, please contact us in advance to make an appointment.


  • Academic publications and resources available
  • Brochure or leaflet available with directions to museum
  • Guided tours
  • Large print information and/or interpretation
  • Member of staff available with responsibility for education

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