Top 3 Must-Visit Libraries in the UK

Top 3 Must Visit Libraries in the UK

UK Libraries

Libraries in the UK number in the thousands including the British Library, known as one of the largest in the world due to its collection of more than 150 million items including maps, stamps, photographs, illuminated manuscripts, and so on.

Aside from the British Library, many still-standing libraries in the UK have been around for centuries. Many of their items may be as old as the libraries themselves or even older. 

If you are a student who plans to study or is currently studying in the UK, visiting some of these libraries is a must. 

Top 3 Must Visit Libraries in the UK

The UK is home to thousands of libraries and visiting all of them might be difficult. To help international students, below is a list of some of the most interesting libraries in the UK. 

The Chained Library in Hereford Cathedral

The Chained Library in Hereford Cathedral offers a unique and fascinating experience to its visitors, tourists, and scholars alike. Also, it houses books that even predate the library itself. For example, the cathedral has been around since the 17th century but houses an 8th-century medieval manuscript, the Hereford Gospels.  

The library is also known for chaining its tomes, which is an old practice of securing books in the Middle Ages. The practice remained until the 18th century. The library at Hereford Cathedral is one of the largest libraries to survive along with all its chains and locks intact. 

Chetham’s Library 

Chetham’s Library in Manchester has been used as a public library for more than three centuries. The building where it is housed has been around for six centuries now or since 1421. It was originally built to house priests of Manchester’s Collegiate Church. 

The library is also known as the oldest public library in Britain and is home to more than a hundred thousand books. Moreover, among those 60,000 were published even before the 1850s. Due to its array of books and accessibility, the library has even attracted some of the world’s famous philosophers including Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. 

Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library 

The Norfolk and Norwich Millenium Library (NML) is not centuries-old like the other libraries in this list. In fact, it was only opened in 2001, making it only 20 years old in 2021. The creation of NML came after the Norfolk County Council decided to create a bigger public library after losing its own Norwich Central Library to a fire in 1994. A fire that destroyed thousands of historical documents and books. 

Fast forward to the 21st century and the NML has become one of the most visited libraries in the UK since it was opened. One of the library’s famous attractions is the Heritage Centre which houses some of the documents and books restored after the fire. Aside from books, the library also holds regular events including forums and board game afternoons.¬†

Still looking for a reason to study in the UK? Check out MSM Unify’s article on 5 Major Reasons to Study in the UK to learn more. 


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