Well, it all started when I visited Manchester Cathedral. On one of the announcements, I read that the choir was taught at Chetham Music School, situated in an old building practically across the street.
A couple of days later, I passed by that building and there was a sign that said Chetham’s Library. So I asked the porter if Chetham’s Library could be visited, and he said indeed it could and gave me a sticker to put on my t’shirt. He gave me directions, saying that I should cross the parking lot and go beyond a gate and there I would find a door, and should ring the bell and someone would open the door for me.
I felt a bit like Alice in Wonderland but I did put the sticker on my t’shirt, headed for the other side of the parking lot, did pass a gate and rang the bell.
I waited for a couple of minutes and the door opened. I climbed a flight of stairs behind the man who had opened the door. He gave me a leaflet, and kindly said that I could look around, take photos and there I was, in the middle of that stunning library, surrounded by all those ancient books.
A long corridor with books on either side
Waiting for repairs, perhaps
Who might have climbed on that stool to reach for a book?
I would so have loved to pull out one of the books and browse. But it just isn’t done 😉
Still I feel it was a privilege to visit this wonderful place, which dates back to 1653 and is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world (Wikipedia).
- You can see more of the photos I took here.
- Or as a slideshow here
- Read about Chetham’s Library history here