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Welcome to the fifth instalment of our eight hidden gems in and around Manchester.

These are places which might not initially crop up on your itinerary when planning a trip to the city, as you might never heard of them, but you definitely don’t want to miss out on seeing them.

So far, we’ve visited Museum Of TransportManchester Jewish Museum, Elizabeth Gaskell’s House and Chetham’s Library. Today, we’re taking a trip to the Working Class Movement Library, known as “one of the most unusual libraries in the world”, and it’s right on our doorstep, in Salford.

What is it?

The Working Class Movement Library delves deep into the history of working people’s struggling to be heard, housing a treasure trove of records from over 200 years ago. The impressive collection tells the story of Britain’s working classes from the beginning of industrialisation to today, covering many different points of view along the way.

There’s a whole world of things to discover at the Working Class Movement Library, with a huge selection of books, pamphlets, leaflets, photos, banners and tape recordings which detail the important histories of working lives and workers’ organisations, protests and politics, Black and Asian history and many more areas of interest.

Particular highlights from the library include expansive collections about international events such as the Spanish Civil War; politics and campaigns, from Chartism to the General Strike, and some very important people who led activist lives, such as Thomas Paine, Emma Paterson, Fanny Deakin, John S Clarke and many more.

The library says: “Working people have always struggled to get their voices heard. The Working Class Movement Library records over 200 years of organising and campaigning by ordinary men and women. Our collection provides a rich insight into working people’s daily lives as well as their thoughts, hopes, fears and the roles they played in the significant events of their time.”

A look inside the library

Not able to visit the library yourself? Take a look inside and find out more about their collections in the video below…

The Working Class Movement Library from Lorna Easterbrook on Vimeo.

Where is it?

The Working Class Movement library is accessible by train, bus, car or bike. Find out more about visiting the library here.

Check out the map below…

Book a tour of Manchester

Want to see the Working Class Movement Library and other hidden gems in Manchester with your own eyes? Book one of our highly rated custom built Manchester Taxi Tours to see what the city has to offer, and visit the places that you want to see with the city’s only Green Badge taxi driver & tour guide John Consterdine.

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