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Manchester Central Library, Manchester
(4.6/5 based on 650+ reviews on the web)
Manchester Central Library is the headquarters of the city's library and information service in Manchester, England. Facing St Peter's Square, it was designed by E. Vincent Harris and constructed between 1930 and 1934. At its opening, one critic wrote, "This is the sort of thing which persuades one to believe in the perennial applicability of the Classical canon". The form of the building, a columned portico attached to a rotunda domed structure, is loosely derived from the Pantheon, Rome. The library building is grade II* listed. In 2010, a four-year project to renovate and refurbish the library commenced. Central Library re-opened on 22 March 2014.HistoryBackgroundManchester was the first local authority to provide a public lending and reference library after the passing of the Public Libraries Act 1850. The Manchester Free Library opened at Campfield in September 1852 at a ceremony attended by Charles Dickens. When the Campfield premises were declared to be unsafe in 1877, the library was moved to the old Town Hall in King Street. The library moved again to what is now Piccadilly Gardens, to the former outpatients wing of Manchester Royal Infirmary and an old YMCA hut in 1912.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • ..this is probably the best lending library I've even been to. As a visitor, I was unable to borrow books but the staff still showed me books about local history and suggested places I might visit. Th...  more »
  • Well worth just looking in to see the great building and there is always some nice exhibitions to browse round 
  • We were so impressed by the quality and quantity of the many small exhibitions on the lower lever. Especially the special exhibition related to the murder of 13-year old Ahmed by a school mate in 1986...  more »
Google
  • The library is very modern. You can join for free! The selection of books is not as wide, however they do offer access to some interesting archives, computers and multimedia. It is a nice plays for studying or just chilling. If you like video games, they even provide game consoles in the ground floor. So if you want to take a break from reading, there is that.
  • Absolutely incredible to visit not on work business for a bibliophile like me. The books in the main circular area are really interesting just to look through casually, with the music area also really fun. Unfortunately, I have not yet explored the whole thing. I recommend checking the opening times before you head there as I have been caught out once or twice by them.
  • A beautifully renovated temple to learning. With musical instruments, spaces for silence, and more than enough places to learn. Come to the library as a tourist to see the historical exhibitions and the events or come as a student and find the quietest more focused place in Manchester
  • This place was far more interesting than what I would ever expected. The atmosphere is quite surreal. Don't miss the 1st floor.
  • Superb library. The old library was good, but this new renovated version is excellent.