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Last updated:11 December 2018

Visiting the Library

wcml exterior Admission to the library is free and open to everyone. Our staff are always willing to help and advise. We are a reference library - you cannot borrow. All material can be studied on site, and a photocopying/scanning service is available.  You can use your own digital camera as long as you abide by our policy on photography.

If you want to visit the library to study you need to make an appointment in advance.  Individual and group tours are welcome by appointment too. You can also drop in to browse our ground floor exhibition space any time between 1pm and 5pm Wednesdays to Fridays.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE, AUGUST 2018:

Work will shortly begin on the first phase of a major project to eradicate the damp in our cellar.  The project will have major benefits such as increasing our storage capacity, as well as ensuring vastly improved storage conditions for the precious material stored on the 0.7kms of cellar shelving. 

Needless to say, there will be disruption to the usual running of the Library while this work is underway.  In particular, it will not be possible for readers to have access to the full range of our boxes of pamphlet material/newspapers/journals, as the majority of these will be in off-site storage.  The first phase of the project will begin week commencing 6 August 2018 and will last at least until mid-November.  If planning a trip to use our collections, PLEASE contact us in advance to check availability of material you wish to see, to save yourself a potential wasted journey.

Sorry, but we will also not be in a position to accept donations of material during this period (donations of money of course are always welcome! Click here...).

 

Click here for how to find us and a map to our location

There is an hour-long tour of the library on the first Wednesday of each month at 2pm, and on the first Saturday of most months at 11.30am - to book a place call 0161 736 3601 or email enquiries @ wcml.org.uk.  Please note that the tour involves climbing a lot of stairs.  

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Opening Hours

Christmas 2018 - NB that the Library will close at 5pm on Friday 21 December until Wednesday 2 January at 10am.

Day Opening Closing
Monday Closed  
Tuesday 10.00am 5.00pm
Wednesday 10.00am 5.00pm
Thursday 10.00am 5.00pm
Friday 10.00am 5.00pm
Saturday - we are open on the first Saturday of most months (next open  5 January 2019) 10.00am 4.00pm
Sunday, and all Bank Holidays Closed  

 

 Access

Wheelchair access to reading room and ground floor is via a ramp at the rear of the building. People with restricted mobility can phone in advance to arrange parking.

Research

The library is a 'closed access' library which means the staff fetch material for visitors - the layout of the building means it is not possible for readers to browse the shelves themselves.  To save yourself time therefore, before you visit, please use our online catalogue to locate material you wish to use. Give an initial list to the staff when you book your appointment.

Tours

There is an hour-long tour of the library on the first Wednesday of each month at 2pm and on the first Saturday of most months at 11.30am - to book a place call 0161 736 3601 or email enquiries @ wcml.org.uk.  Please note that the tour involves climbing a lot of stairs.  

The WCML is not just about the written word ("Here's another room full of books..."), the walls are covered with all manner of posters, paintings and other visual material. A tour of the library is a journey through 200 years of labour movement history in the British Isles.

Genealogical enquiries

While we welcome requests for information, we regret that we do not have the staff to answer directly more than the most straightforward questions. The potential information is limited by the individual's level of activity/office within their union or party. Older union records may have lists of ordinary members and sickness payments, arrears or resignations. Otherwise the more significant the individual, the more chance that we have any notable information. See our family history page for more details.