The libraries in Manchester are renowned throughout England, above all Chetham's Library. Opened in 1653, it is the oldest of its kind in the United Kingdom and it more than made history, as, in 1845, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels used to meet and work there. Amidst the rows of shelves, dating centuries back, it is still possible to visit the spot the two men favoured, located in one of the building's alcoves.
The John Rylands Library also offers readers an incomparable collection, consisting of rare books, some of them 5,000-years old! Within its Neo-Gothic walls, reminding of Harry Potter's universe, you will discover ornamented manuscripts from the Middle Ages. The oldest copy of the New Testament is even stored there.
Closer to us, the Central Library is the reference in Manchester, and actually the second largest across the country. Completed in 1934, it showcases impressive design, based on Rome's Pantheon with its columns and dome. Inside the building, a skylight clears the path for visitors. A monument that should not be overlooked!
Note that these libraries are freely open to the public and that, except for a few precious and rare books, it is possible to read them on site.
Manchester M3 1SB
+44 (0)161 834 7961
St Peters Square
Manchester M2 5PD
+44 (0)161 234 1983
John Rylands Library
Manchester M3 3EH
+44 (0)161 306 0555