Archives+ has created an archive centre of excellence in the heart of Manchester.  The project brings together statutory, university and voluntary organisations to provide a holistic range of archive and heritage services from one location.  Archives+ raises awareness of and provides easy access to our histories for the broadest possible audiences.

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Archives+ Partners

  • Heritage Lottery Fund

    The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage through innovative investment in projects with a lasting impact on people and places. As the largest dedicated funder of the UK’s heritage, with around  £375million a year to invest in new projects and a considerable body of knowledge, we are also a leading advocate for the value of heritage to modern life. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our heritage. Since 1994, HLF has supported over 35,000 projects allocating more than £5.5 billion across the UK.

  • Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives

    Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives (Manchester City Council) operate a city-wide archive and local studies service which collects archives and printed materials relating to the history of the City of Manchester. The collections include a wide range of reference, lending and archive resources relating to the history of Manchester, its organisations, buildings and people.

    Manchester Central Library also holds an outstanding collection of rare books and special collections. The very first Manchester Librarian, Edward Edwards, started the collection of rare and older published material in 1852 with many 17th and 18th century titles. The policy continued under successive librarians and was supplemented by donations from businessmen and others during the rest of the 19th century and into the early years of the 20th. This has resulted in Central Library having outstanding collections and ‘treasures’, more comparable to academic and special libraries than to other public libraries.

  • Greater Manchester County Record Office

    Greater Manchester County Record Office (GMCRO) is operated by Manchester City Council on behalf of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA). The service holds a wide range of archives (hospitals, courts, businesses, estates, societies, clubs, families) relating to the Greater Manchester area. The service works closely with the archive and local studies services within each of the Greater Manchester districts.

  • North West Film Archive

    The North West Film Archive is one of the UK’s largest and longest established public film collections, and is part of the Library Service Special Collections at the Manchester Metropolitan University.

    The Archive is the professionally recognised home for documentary moving images made in or about Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside and Cumbria, or which reflect life in the region. These can be professional or amateur, any age, and any gauge. The region’s position at the forefront of industrialisation is reflected in the strengths of the collection, providing a powerful record of modern urban society.

    The Archive cares for over 38,000 items from the pioneer days of film in the mid 1890s to regional television in the 1960s-80s, and digital productions of the present day. In addition to collecting and preserving moving images, the Archive offers an extensive range of access and outreach services, including viewings, screenings at a wide variety of venues across the region; loan and supply for exhibitions, events and educational uses; and commercial footage sales.

  • Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and Education Trust

    The Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre is a unique library on race, ethnicity and migration, including life stories, resources for schools and rare archival sources. Ahmed Iqbal Ullah was a thirteen year old Bangladeshi boy, murdered in a racist incident at a local school in 1986. The Centre was named in his memory and is part of the University of Manchester. The library contains books, journals and interviews that document the contributions of Black and Minority Ethnic people to British, European and American history and the struggles of Black communities against racism. The local history section records the histories of African, Asian and Caribbean people in Manchester, much of it collected in the oral history projects developed by the Education Trust. The Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust is a registered charity that delivers outreach activities and anti-racist projects with school and community groups, supporting a range of local initiatives on BME history and culture.

  • Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society

    Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society has been helping family historians worldwide since 1964. We are based at Manchester Central Library and are part of the Archives+ partnership.

    Society volunteers are available at the Family History Help Desk Monday to Friday from 10.30am to 3.30pm. and will be pleased to provide family history advice and assistance, whether your ancestors came from Greater Manchester or from further afield. We also hold regular classes for beginners and an extensive programme of talks.

    We encourage members to get involved. Many of our members provide mutual help and advice through our online forum. Others help to transcribe and index local resources. All members are welcome to contribute to our quarterly magazine.

    Membership of Manchester & Lancashire FHS includes membership of any or all four of our branches. These support members with ancestors in Oldham and Bolton, and those with ancestors from Scotland and Ireland. Each branch organises its own meetings programme, over and above that of the parent Society, and undertakes locally based projects.

    Opening Times

      Monday 10.30am - 3pm
    • Tuesday 10.30am - 3pm
    • Wednesday 10.30am - 3pm
    • Thursday 10.30am - 3pm
    • Friday 10.30am - 3pm
  • BFI Mediatheque

    The BFI Mediatheque is the place to make new discoveries and get reacquainted with old favourites. From home movies to feature films, via documentaries and kids’ TV, many titles have rarely been seen since their original release or broadcast – if at all. Simply log on at a viewing station and enjoy highlights from the world’s greatest and most diverse collection of British film and television. Central Library will be home to North West England’s BFI Mediatheque. Offering over 2000 complete films and TV programmes, including more than 100 depicting life in Manchester and the North West. The BFI Mediatheque will be open six days a week and is FREE for everyone to enjoy.


Archives+ offers an exciting, purpose-built showcase and repository for the region’s archives and family history. The Archives+ partnership builds on the appetite and demand for accessible community history and personal heritage. This single location makes it easier than ever before to find what you’re looking for under one roof.

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Opening Times

  • Monday : 10am - 4pm
  • Tuesday : 10am - 4pm
  • Wednesday : 10am - 4pm
  • Thursday : 10am - 4pm
  • Friday : Closed
  • Saturday : 10am - 4pm