We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the Library.

Chetham’s Library has been in continuous use as a public library for over 350 years. It is housed in a beautiful sandstone building dating from 1421 which was built to accommodate the priests of Manchester’s Collegiate Church. The entire collection at Chetham’s Library has been designated as one of national and international importance. The Library is also an accredited museum, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Tours: Please use this link to go to the tour booking page. You can also Contact Us to discuss group visits or access arrangements.

Reader Appointments: If you’re coming to us as a reader or researcher, you can find out about our collections here and in our catalogues. Please get in touch using the addresses on our Contact Us page to arrange a reader appointment. We will also be happy to do whatever we can to answer your queries or assist in research remotely. Please make an appointment as far as possible in advance (at least one full working day ahead of time) to view material from the collections. We will do our best to accommodate all requests, but may be unable to provide access at your preferred time or date for a variety of reasons, including availability of reader space, staffing, and school safeguarding considerations; please do not assume that sending an email to which you have not received a reply constitutes an appointment. If your query is urgent, please telephone 0161 834 7961. Archival enquiries are dealt with Monday-Wednesday only.

Visiting the library

Public tours

Please visit our blog, From Home pages and social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) for regular highlights from our collection; we will endeavour to keep posting things of interest!

Tour booking dates here

Need to get in touch? Please contact us here.

Humphrey Chetham (1580–1653), the most successful gentleman merchant of seventeenth-century Lancashire, was born in Crumpsall Hall, near Manchester, and later lived at Clayton Hall near Droylsden. His fortune was...

Read more

Blog

  1. Thomas Jones: Chetham’s Greatest Librarian

    As we continue our journey through the lives of Chetham’s Librarians, one name stands out...

    Read more
  2. Robert Thyer: Sophistication and Simplicity

    Thyer was Chetham’s 9th librarian, its first layman and up to that point its longest serving...

    Read more
  3. Richard Johnson, the First Librarian: No Surplus Surplice?

    Richard Johnson is said to have been Chetham’s very first librarian, but his back story...

    Read more