The Library started life in the 1950s as the personal collection of Edmund and Ruth Frow. It became a Charitable Trust in 1971 and moved to its present home in 1987. Eddie and Ruth were proud that their love of books had created a unique and valuable resource for people wanting to know more about working people’s lives and political beliefs.
Heritage Lottery funding has now enabled the Library to make much of its pamphlet and archival material visible for the first time via its online catalogue. There has been a continuing increase in the numbers of users and visitors, in links with other organisations and the wider community, in use of social and other media, and in implementing fundraising strategies to ensure the long-term future of this unique, much-loved collection.
Our oldest items date from the 1760s. From the 1820s we have some of the earliest trade union documents to have survived.
Our collections include pamphlets, archives, photos, songbooks, banners, posters, badges, cartoons and paintings, alongside 40,000 books.
Topics in which we are strong include Thomas Paine, Chartism, the Peterloo Massacre, Irish politics and history, women’s emancipation, conscientious objectors, 1926 General Strike, Spanish Civil War, Christian Socialism and Co-operation.
By appointment Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm, and the first Saturday of most months 10am to 4pm.
Plenty of trains stop at Salford Crescent coming from Manchester Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Deansgate, as well as from Manchester Victoria and Salford Central.
Buses 8, 9, 12, 25, 26, 31, 32, 36, 37, 39, 50, 67,100 and X34 stop close by.
The reading room and exhibition space are wheelchair-accessible.