Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chetham's Library

A fellow blogger, Lucy at Literary Relish, has been posting about monthly meetings of the Manchester Book Club that she belongs to and I try to follow along as best I can, vicariously living through her lively accounts of the fun the group had discussing the new reads. Then just as I caught up on the latest MBC adventures and was browsing through my stash of ideas for the Special Feature posts my gaze landed on a picture of a beautiful library, all dark wood and books, that looked like it belonged in Hogwarts. The caption read "Chetham's Library, Manchester, England. Oldest free public reference library in the UK". I knew it was meant to be.

From the Chetham's Library website:
Chetham's Library was founded in 1653 and is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. It is an independent charity and remains open to readers and visitors free of charge. [...] The Library began acquiring books in August 1655, and has been adding to its collections ever since. As well as a fine collection of early printed books, the collections include a wealth of ephemera, manuscript diaries, letters and deeds, prints, paintings and glass lantern-slides.
And from Wikipedia:
The library established in 1653 under the will of Humphrey Chetham, as part of Chetam's Hospital. It has been in continuous use since 1653 and operates as an independent charity, open to readers and visitors free of charge. It holds more than 100,000 volumes of printed books, of which 60,000 were published before 1851.

If you're lucky enough to live in Manchester or the vicinity stop by the library and tell me whether it really is like a corner of Hogwarts, and the rest of us will have to be satisfied with their official and Facebook pages.


  1. Yeey! Did you know - that Chetham's was actually used for filming parts of the Harry Potter films!! Which is exactely WHY it looks like Hogwarts :-)

    Myself and Simon Savidge were lucky enough to be invited on a WI event at Chetham's a couple of months ago and I worked there for a bit during my archiving days at uni :-) It is an absolutely magical place. Well worth a visit.

  2. Oh wow, I got goose bumps just reading that! Now I want to visit even more :)

  3. Hi Lucy and Olga, sadly Chetham's wasn't used for filming Harry Potter, but people often remark that it looks very similar. Thanks for your kind remarks.