We thought we would share with you the experience of one of our researchers Swati Joshi who visited the library as both a reader and tourist, Swati is a PhD student from India who is currently studying in Manchester, over to you Swati:
Away from the humdrum of the Arndale the modern fashion hub of Manchester stands the 350-year old Chetham’s Library, the oldest public library in Britain, with its rich collection of books on diverse subjects such as Medicine, Gardening, Importance of Herbs, French and English Poetry, Theology, Literature, Politics, and much more. On each of my visits, I have felt at home in this elegant sandstone building that represents the heritage and history of Manchester. This ancient vessel of knowledge has books dating back to the 16th century.
I visited Chetham’s library for the first time as a tourist, and during these illuminating guided tours, I discovered books useful for my thesis on the medical humanities. I booked an appointment and enjoyed reading the books at the place where Marx and Engels had studied and discussed the living conditions of the working classes. Everyone at the library has been so supportive, encouraging and generous about sharing the information of the various books and helping me gain access to the digital manuscripts.
I highly recommend joining the guided tour of Chetham’s library, which will be an intellectual treat to all your senses, be it the smell of the wood and the stones, the texture of the antique objects, the visual delight of seeing stacks of books of varied sizes on myriads of subjects. These tours will definitely inspire you to make your next visit as a reader! I want to extend my gratitude to everyone at the library who made my experience of learning the most enlightening and the most memorable.