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Manchester Central Library

Manchester Central Library: Hilary Hartigan

Covid-19 - please check opening times before travelling

Manchester’s iconic and recently refurbished Central Library in St Peter’s Square is the home of the MLFHS – the place to visit to explore your Manchester Ancestry. The Library is within walking distance of Oxford Road and Deansgate railway stations and, as can be seen in this photograph, the Metrolink trams stop right in front of the library main entrance. There are bus stops close by and bus links from Piccadilly and Victoria railway stations. The library is fully accessible for people with disabilities.

For more detailed trave advice please to to our Find Us page

The Performance Space

Most meetings are held in room PS1 (short for performance space 1) which is to the left as you enter the central part of the library from the main entrance. Occasionally meetings are moved to other meeting rooms, all of which are accessible by using the lifts, which are to the right of the main entrance. We tend to congregate outside the main entrance if we have arranged a visit to another venue within walking distance (or just inside the foyer if it’s a particularly damp or blustery day).

The main society helpdesk is also on the ground floor of the library, almost directly opposite the main entrance (the library café and picnic area are to the right as you walk through), just head towards the tall windows that you can see on the right of the picture above.

Public conveniences are on the lower ground floor, either side of the two staircases, access is via the stairs or by using the lifts. 

Our venue, the Manchester City Library, has a lot to offer. Whether you enter through the grand main entrance or through the sliding glass doors that connect the library with the town hall extension across Library Walk, or stroll through the central display area, you will see plenty of seating in the picnic area and the café area, As you walk around the raised area, past the public computers and the society's helpdesk, the shelves of local history books and the NW Film Archive pods, there are stools, armchairs and low tables. It is a busy area, but there is usually somewhere to relax if you are early for the meeting.