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Chetham’s Library is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. The atmospheric 17th-century interior is housed in beautiful medieval sandstone buildings and is open to visitors and readers from around the world.
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. Guided tours and group visits are available, and the Library is open free of charge for timed visits from Monday to Friday.