New Librarian announced

We are delighted to announce that Julianne Simpson will be our new Librarian from May 2024, taking on responsibility for the strategic development and day-to-day management of the organisation.

Chetham’s Library is an accredited museum in Manchester’s historic Medieval Quarter, in the heart of the city, and is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world, with the building dating to 1421. It is significant for many reasons, including being the venue where Karl Marx met with Friedrich Engels to discuss their revolutionary ideas that changed the world.

Julianne was previously Collections and Discovery Manager at John Rylands Research Institute and Library, part of the University of Manchester, for 13 years, overseeing the care and management of its special collections and leading on improvements in access. She has a background of research around the international book trade in the 16th century, early modern libraries and the study of provenance and annotation in early printed books.

On accepting the appointment, Julianne said: “I am very much looking forward to becoming the Librarian at Chetham’s Library. The Library is an extraordinary slice of history and it’s an honour to be part of its future. I’m excited to strengthen links with the academic community and researchers and to work with colleagues at Chetham’s School of Music and Stoller Hall, who share the same site as the Library, to extend the role of the complex as a major visitor attraction.”

Chair of the Chetham’s Library Committee, Vanessa Goldstone: “We’re thrilled to welcome Julianne to Chetham’s. This is a fantastic time to join the organisation as we expand our tours and events programme and find new ways to celebrate and make use of our internationally-significant collections and historic connections.”

Nicola Smith, Joint Principal of Chetham’s School of Music: “It’s a huge honour to have the Library on the same site as Chetham’s School of Music. Both the School and Library were founded by Humphrey Chetham and have existed for hundreds of years, to the enormous benefit of the city. We’re really excited to work with Julianne as we look to the future and develop our vision for the organisation.”



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