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 | 14.00 | 15.00 | 16.00

The entries at 11:00 and 14:00 entries are Highlight Tours, when visitors will spend longer with the guide.

Please note that only the Library and a small part of the medieval building are normally available to view. For a closer look at the Library and a full tour of the medieval buildings, 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.

Please note that the Library will occasionally need to close to visitors. We will always try to make sure closures are advertised well in advance on this website and on social media, but if you are travelling a distance, or if your visit is of particular importance, we suggest you contact us in advance.

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.

Other languages

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


Approximate postcode for Satnav: M3 1SB

We are pleased to partner with Q-Park Deansgate North to offer discounted parking for visitors to our ticketed events. With a discount voucher you can park for up to 8 hours in the indoor, multi-storey Q-Park for just £5. Click here for details on directions to the parking facility, which is open 24/7. To claim the discounted price, just collect a voucher from the Box Office during your visit and scan it when returning to the car park to pay.

Q-Park offers 23 disabled spaces and 4 electric car charging points. There is a level journey of approximately 600m from the carpark to Chetham’s Library entrance. Visitors who may struggle to walk this distance may be dropped off at our main entrance on Long Millgate, but there is no parking onsite or on the street immediately outside.