The Portico Library & Gallery opened in 1806 as a Library and Newsroom and continues to be an active centre of culture for the people of Manchester and beyond. The Library consists of a remarkable 19th century collection of approx 25,000 books, housed in its original splendid Grade II* listed building, which reflects the social and cultural interests of the early members.
Members of the Library are able to borrow from the 19th century collection and enjoy lunch in the library with guests. Membership has included such names as John Dalton, Peter Roget, Elizabeth Gaskell, Stuart Maconie, Val McDermid and Guy Garvey. Researchers are welcome to refer to the collection by arrangement.
Entrance to the Gallery area is free and open to everyone. The Gallery hosts a robust programme of events (prices vary) and exhibitions (free) throughout the year. Tea/coffee and cake are available for purchase in the Gallery from 11.30-2.30.
The Portico is home of the Portico Prize for Literature, a leading literary prize which celebrates the strong regional and literary identity of the North of England, as well as The Portico Prize for Young Writers and The Portico Prize for Poetry which both aim to mirror the objectives of the Portico Prize. The Portico Library & Gallery is a member of the Association of Independent Libraries
Entrance on Charlotte Street, Press the buzzer for entry. Please note that the Library is located on the first floor and has no lift.
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