Whether you want a quiet place to study or you want to visit some beautiful Manchester landmarks, here are the best libraries to visit whilst you’re studying in Manchester.
Opened in 1806, The Portico still occupies its original Grade II listed building on Mosley Street. The door is tucked away on the corner so it can be hard to spot but it’s well worth a visit. It is only available to subscription members now but you can go for lunch between 12pm and 2pm which is served under the beautiful dome ceiling. They also have exhibition spaces to explore. It’s definitely worth a visit and is a little like stepping back in time.
Central Library is actually the oldest lending library in the UK. It has recently been renovated and is a popular place to go and study and soak in the history. A fun fact about this library is that when it first opened it had a toilet that was reserved only for the King and Queen. Despite the renovation it has kept most of its original interior including the desks.
Whilst Central Library is the oldest lending library in the UK, Chetham’s Library is actually by far the oldest library in Manchester. Actually, it dates back to the 16th century which would make it the oldest library in the English speaking world. It is said that Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels used to get together here and study. It is open to the public so you can take a wander round and soak in the history and beautiful gothic design. There’s even a medieval cat flap!
John Rylands Library is worth a visit for the architecture alone. It was designed to replicate a neo-gothic church. Here you’ll find the largest collection of medieval illuminated manuscripts in the UK. You can go here to study, explore the building and can even get a guided tour through some of the most hidden parts of the library, including the cellar.
Technically not in Manchester but Salford, The Working Class Movement Library holds extensive information about the struggles of ordinary men and women over the years. They hold some of the earliest trade union documents and have a wealth of information dating back as early as 1760.
If you’re going to be attending our English learning school in Manchester we definitely recommend a visit to each of these libraries!