Search room opening hours
Our search room is open Monday-Thursday from 10am to 4pm, and on Saturdays 10am-4pm. To visit, please book at least one working day in advance. We need to receive your request by 9am of the day before you want to visit or by 9am on Friday if you want to visit on a Monday.
Our vast archive and local history collections are stored on different mediums. Some are online and others are held at the Central Library.
GM Lives is our searchable archives catalogue which lets you find information about local history books, maps and photographs held by local history libraries within Greater Manchester.
Collections at the Central Library
Most records are available for you to look at, but access to some is restricted. Restrictions are indicated in our archives catalogue.
If what you want is held at the Central Library, make a note of the reference number found either on this site or GM Lives. You can then:
- look at local history books, maps and microfilms on the ground floor of Central Library, no appointment needed
- look at archive materials, rare local history books, rare books and special collections in the search room
- request semi-rare books (marked 'historic stack' in the library catalogue) and national, international and specialist periodicals on microfilm (marked 'MF'). These can be collected in the search room.
- search for published materials using our library catalogue, book an appointment to see items marked search room
- request the review of or enquire about closed records by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need help looking for specific information, we offer a research service for a small charge.