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Research and study

The Research Centre study area is home to our archive of original source material and reference books, and is available by appointment for personal, professional and academic research.

We are currently operating a reduced service. We are still responding to enquiries about the archive collections, but it will take us longer to respond than usual. Researchers wishing to use our archive and library collections need to pre-book a research slot. 


Please email the Archives team to discuss your research plans at least 7 days before the date you would like to visit. A link to the booking page will be provided once we have confirmed your plans with you. 

Appointments are available on the first Tuesday and Wednesday of each month, 10.30–12.45 and 13.45–16.30. You can book a morning or afternoon slot, or both if you would like to spend the whole day in the archive. We will do our best to accommodate requests for bookings covering both days, particularly for researchers travelling to Manchester. Please mention your booking preference when you email the Archives team to discuss your plans. 

You must also pre-book the archive material you want to consult. If you can, please tell us what you want to see when you first contact us. You can order up to 15 individual items or 3 boxes of archive material per half day slot. If you are unable to let us know what you would like to see, when your booking is complete, the Archives team will help you to identify relevant material.  

You can find further information about the archives we care for via our online collection and the archive catalogue. 


Come to the main entrance of the museum and let the staff on the desk know that you have booked an archive appointment. We will meet you at the reception desk and accompany you to the Research Centre. 

We have a small number of visitor lockers available for you to store your personal items securely. Due to space restrictions in the study area, please limit the number of personal items you bring with you to the Research Centre. You may bring a laptop or tablet, a phone or camera, a notepad and a pencil with you. 

If you have an enquiry about the archive or object collections, please email us at We aim to respond within 20 working days, but responses are currently taking a little longer.