Special collections in Manchester Libraries
Central Library is currently closed as it undergoes a major programme of renovation and refurbishment. During this period most of our rare books and special collections are being safely stored 150 metres underground in Deep Store, high security, specialist storage located within a salt mine in Cheshire.
The storage fully complies with BS5454:2000 standards, the recommended storage procedures to ensure the preservation of important artefacts ( The National Archives has over 25km of storage in Deep Store).
Some of our Special Collections are still accessible.........
Local items from Henry Watson Music Library at Royal Northern College of Music
A special collection of local music archives, programmes, playbills, minute and subscriber books which tells the story of two centuries of music making in Manchester will be temporarily relocated and accessible at the Royal Northern College of Music Archive.
The Gaskell Collection at GMCRO (Greater Manchester County Record Office)
The collection is recognised by Gaskell scholars as one of the leading collections of printed material in the country. In addition to early and first editions of the novels, the collection includes letters, some personal items and much other material relating to Elizabeth Gaskell.
Broadside Ballads, Chapbooks and Tracts Collections at Chetham's Library
You can access these wonderful collections by contacting Chetham's library who have very kindly offered to look after them during the closure period.
Online Cataloguing of Rare Books and Special Collections
Up to now, our rare book catalogue has not been available online. However, whilst Central Library is closed we are undertaking a major retrospective cataloguing project to add all our reference stock to our online catalogue.
As part of this project we are using information from our original card catalogue to create basic records for ourrare books and special collections.
Records will appear as they are added but, until we return to Central Library, the message Special Collections Unavailable will appear.