Library Hours

We operate a system of timed entry for visitors to the Library. If you’d like to look round, please arrive at one of the times below. If you’d like to bring a group or you’re coming to us to use the Library’s collections, please email us or call us on 0161 834 7961 in advance.

The times are: Monday – Friday at 10.00 | 11.00 | 12.00 | 13.30 | 14.30 | 15.30

For a closer look at the building and further insight into its history, we offer guided tours through our partner Jonathan Schofield which can be booked through his website.

The Library is closed on public holidays, and between Christmas and New Year.

If you are travelling a distance, or if your visit is of particular importance, please contact us in advance.

Please note that some parts of the historic building may not be available for viewing at the time you visit.

We share a site with the School of Music, and to meet safeguarding guidelines visitors to the Library are escorted across the yard during term time.

Readers are required to make an appointment, please see below.

Research and Study

Use of the library is free, and no membership or reader’s ticket is required.

Readers and researchers need a prior appointment made at least one working day in advance in order to consult Library material.

Appointments may be made by email, phone, or letter, but please be sure to allow time for us to reply if email or letter are used: if you haven’t received a reply to your email, we don’t have an appointment and may not be able to help you on arrival. In order to read on a Monday, we need to be contacted by the preceding Friday at the latest. If time is short, please phone us rather than using another method of contact.

New readers may be asked to provide ID or a letter of reference.

Regrettably we are not able to offer desk space to readers who are not consulting Library material.

Location and Maps

This map of the city centre shows the general location of Chetham’s, which is located opposite the National Football Museum (the Urbis building). Entry to the Library is through the main gate on Long Millgate, just off Cathedral Gardens.

If you have arranged to drive to the Library, you should note that major construction works are currently underway in Manchester city centre in preparation for the new Metrolink line. The one-way system, which is already somewhat confusing, is subject to changes and diversions and we recommend that you phone us for directions.

Group study visits

If you would like to bring in a study group to work on any aspect of the Library’s holdings, please contact us as far in advance as possible. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Visitors with disabilities

Access to the historic first-floor library is via a flight of eighteen stairs, and regrettably no lift can be installed.

Wheelchair users and others unable to manage the stairs have full access to the collections by the use of ground floor study rooms; the shelves are not browsable by any reader, so those working from the ground floor enjoy equal access to the collections with those able to ascend.

Please contact us in advance with details of your requirements.

Foreign visitors

A history of Chetham’s Library, written by Library Patron Gill Williamson, is available here in a number of languages.


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.