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Visitor tours are back!

Please go to our tour booking page for details, and to get your ticket!

Chetham’s Library is also back open to readers by prior appointment! Please contact us as far in advance as possible to arrange a study visit.

Library staff are now back working at the Library, and doing our best to catch up with the lockdown backlog; please use the email addresses under ‘Contact Us’ to get in touch.

To see what we were up to during lockdown, 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!

We cannot wait to welcome you back to Chetham’s Library

Your safety is our biggest priority. Whether you’re visiting us for the first time, or returning to see us again, we’ve made some changes to keep you safe.

Here’s what you need to know before your visit.

How will my ticket work?

Tickets for all events will need to be booked in advance via our website. We are currently operating a paperless ticketing system, and you will need to print out your tickets in advance or have them ready to scan on a mobile device.

How accessible is Chetham’s site?

Chetham’s Library is located within a 600-year-old building, therefore all visitors must be aware that there will be uneven flooring, cobblestones and occasionally low lighting. The Library is across a cobbled yard and via a flight of eighteen steps, with seating provided in all areas of our tours. Regrettably, no lift can be installed in this listed building, and there are no disabled toilet facilities. Wheelchair users and others unable to manage the stairs can still enjoy full access to the collections as readers, but may be unable to join our regular tours.

Please note that toilets are currently out of use for the public as the building is shared by Chetham’s School of Music, therefore we advise visitors to be prepared to begin the tour as soon as the guide arrives. However, our staff facilities will be available for those who require access for medical reasons.

Please contact us if you require further details or assistance.

Will I need to wear a face covering?

Yes, please ensure you are wearing a face covering. If you are exempt from wearing a face covering, please make your tour guide aware on your arrival and make sure to give the guide and group space out of consideration.

What time can I arrive at the venue?

Please arrive at the school gates a few minutes before the tour start time. Due to safeguarding regulations, the group will need to wait outside the gates for the guide to come to collect them. As there is no shelter outside the site, we would advise coming dressed appropriately for the weather.

Please keep your belongings to a minimum and with you at all times. All visitors should arrive in good time to allow security at the gate to check the contents of any essential baggage. For security reasons, large bags and suitcases are not permitted on site (bags larger than 35cm x 40cm x 19cm). The nearest luggage storage is located at Shude Hill Luggage Storage.

Can I take photographs?

Yes! However, in consideration for the guide and fellow visitors, we ask that you avoid using flash photography and wait for the guide to finish talking first. If it is possible to turn any sound effects off your camera, that would also be much appreciated. Our aim is to provide a quality guided tour for our visitors, therefore we advise those wanting to take professional photographs, to make an appointment for an allotted time to do so.

What are the social distancing rules?

Please follow any guidance given to you from the tour guide around the site, and maintain 2 meter social distancing. There will be a one-way system in operation to keep visitors and staff safe.

The capacity for guided tours at Chetham’s Library has been greatly reduced, with plans to slowly increase according to government guidelines. This ensures we can comply with social distancing regulations and make sure it is a comfortable experience for everyone.

What other Covid-19 Safety measures will be in place?

We want you to enjoy your guided tour, and as well as the above we have the following safety measures in place.

  • Adhering to the NHS Test and Trace guidelines, including capturing details of all visitors.
  • Providing hand sanitising stations throughout the site.
  • All library staff will wear masks when in public areas.
  • Regular cleaning of the rooms between tours.

What should I do if I become unwell after my visit?

We are using the NHS Test and Trace system. Please sign in on your visit and if you do test positive, please report this on the Test and Trace app. If you’re unable to use the app for any reason, please get in touch via email –