Chetham's Library was founded in 1653 and is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. It is an independent charity and remains open to readers and visitors free of charge. The Library began acquiring books in August 1655, and has been adding to its collections ever since. As well as a fine collection of early printed books, the collections include a wealth of ephemera, manuscript diaries, letters and deeds, prints, paintings and glass lantern-slides. The entire collection at Chetham's Library has been designated as one of national and international importance, an accolade of which we are extremely proud.
Chetham's Library is open Monday to Friday 9.00-12.30 a.m. and 1.30-4.30 p.m. Visitors are welcome at any time during opening hours, but please make an appointment if you wish to come and read.
Entry is free.
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
- Education facilities available
- Facilities for private functions and events
- Library with public access
- Parking for disabled available
- Study facilities
- Wheelchair access to some public areas
- Research facilities for academics
Access to the historic first-floor library is via a flight of eighteen stairs. Wheelchair users and others unable to manage the stairs have full access to the collections by the use of ground floor study rooms. Please contact us in advance with details of your requirements. Parking on site is available only to holders of disabled parking permits or similar recognised permits. There is a multi-storey car park at the nearby Manchester Evening News Arena, the entrance to which is on Trinity Way.
- Brochure or leaflet available with directions to museum
- General guide to collections available
- Object identification and/or written enquiry service
- Pre-booking service for groups
- Primary school education service available
- Public access available to collections information
- Specialist publications on collections available
- Teaching/resources available for HE/FE students
- Greater Manchester
- Social History
- North West
- Books & Manuscripts
- Digital collections
- Industrial History
- Heritage issues
- History of science
- Medieval (British History)
- Contemporary (British History)
- Middle Ages
- 15th century (1401 - 1500)
- 16th century (1501 - 1600)
- 17th century (1601 - 1700)
- 18th century (1701 - 1800)
- 19th century (1801 - 1900)
- 20th century (1901 - 2000)
- 21st century (2001 to present day)
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