How to use the Library

The Library is open any time that Central Library is open and we staff our enquiry desk on weekdays.

Study area in the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre.
Study area in the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre.

Approximately two thirds of the library collection can be borrowed by anyone with a Manchester Libraries card. Reference only material is clearly labelled and can be studied anywhere within Central Library.

We're very happy to help you find things, just ask at our desk.

Access library resources

Our classification system

We use a unique classification scheme for our library, which you may notice is different from the system used by the rest of Central Library. It is designed to make a small, specialist collection like ours as easy to use as possible. It also avoids the inherent negative biases embedded in other more traditional classification systems, which often replicate the colonial (Eurocentric, middle-class and male) views of their creators.

  • Arts, Media and Sport (AR)
  • Culture and Identity (CU)
  • Education (ED)
  • Employment (EM)
  • Fiction (FIC)
  • Gender and Family Studies (GE)
  • Health (HE)
  • History (HI)
  • Housing (HO)
  • Immigration (IM)
  • Local Studies (MAN)
  • Politics (PO)
  • Welfare (WE)

Search the catalogue

All of our resources can be found through the Manchester Libraries catalogue Advanced Search. Select 'Race Relations Resource Centre' in the Location field.

Borrow a book

You will need to be a member of Manchester Libraries to borrow resources from our library. This is free of charge for anyone who lives in the UK.

You can borrow loanable items from our library through the Manchester Libraries system, using the self-service machines or issue desks throughout Central Library.

Access reference-only books

Reference-only books can be accessed in person, during library open hours.

Local studies and oral history transcripts

Local studies and oral history transcripts are reference-only. Please ask a member of our staff on the enquiry desk if you’d like to access them.

Accessing the archives (including oral histories)

Exploring our archives

You can search our archive and oral history collections using our catalogues.

If you can’t easily find what you’re looking for, staff will be happy to tell you more about what is in our collections and help you find material that might be of interest to you.

Accessing items

We need a minimum of one working day's notice to retrieve items from the archives, though it is best to give as much notice as possible.

Archive materials can be studied in the Central Library Search Room. More details about the Search Room can be found on the Central Library website:

You can make copies of archive material for research purposes, using a camera or photocopier, for a cost of £6 per half day. Please speak to a member of staff or contact us for more details.