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The Manchester Masonic Research Collection

Some years ago the Library Collection of the Province of East Lancashire and of the Manchester Association of Masonic Research were combined and housed in the Library Room at Freemasons’ Hall in Manchester. However, this room was continually in use for Masonic Meetings, rehearsals, and for other meetings, so that access to the collection was very difficult to arrange.

In order to facilitate access to members of the Craft and the general public, it was decided to offer the collection to the John Rylands University Library. It was accepted with enthusiasm and the University Library undertook to fully catalogue this collection, funded by the Manchester Association of Masonic Research.

In the interim the John Rylands Library has undergone refurbishment with the construction of a new Entrance Wing with the reception area, shop and café, with lift access to all floors. The Building is located on Deansgate, in close proximity to Freemasons’ Hall. It is accessible to all forms of public transport. Car parking is available at the NCP car parks on Watson Street, New Quay Street and Blackfriars Street. Disabled Visitors who require car parking, should contract the Library main reception desk on 0161 306 0555 for further information and advice.

As from 1 November 2007, all items in the Collection will be listed and can be accessed remotely through the Library website: http://rylibweb.man.ac.uk/catalogue or consulted at reader reception on Level 4 of the new entrance wing. Help will be available as to how to use the catalogue and an assistant will fetch books as required. If books have been identified via the website, it would be useful to phone ahead, so that they can be available on arrival at reader reception. There is a public access to the collection and books may not be taken out of the building.

Individuals who wish to consult the books must obtain: 1. Deansgate Reader Card at the main reception by providing a “registered” photograph and proof of address (vis.a utilities invoice). Both of these can be achieved using your Driving Licence. 2. A letter of reference from the Provincial Grand Secretary at Freemasons’ Hall, prior to visiting the Library. A very comprehensive “Visitor Information” leaflet is available at the main reception area. If further advice is required please consult the Provincial Librarian, John G Durnall, 0161 483 4837, or the Assistant Librarian, Paul Norman 01925 752 368.

John G Durnall
Provincial Librarian.