Liverpool Central Library, Archive and Record Office

Free Library and Museum 1985
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The largest library is the Central Library in the City Centre. There are smaller community libraries spread across the city.

A mobile library service is also available, which serves over ninety locations in the city.

The photographic image collection at the Record Office is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Venue Type:

Library, Archive, Heritage site

Opening hours

Monday - Friday 9.00 - 6.00 (last collection 16.30)
Saturday 9.00 - 5.00 (no collections 12-2pm)
Sunday 12.00 - 4.00

Closed: Bank Holidays

Admission charges


Additional info

Record Office Access:

Appointments are not necessary for viewing sources on microfilm/fiche but they are recommended if you require reader printers. A reader's ticket is needed to request archives, books, maps, photographs and watercolours. Please bring proof of name and address. You will be asked to leave any bags in lockers before consulting original material. There is an annual closure for stock-taking and special projects during the third and fourth weeks in June.

Visitors are welcome to bring their own camera to obtain copies of documents for personal use only. Anyone intending to publish images from our collections must obtain permission from the Manager.

Liverpool Record Office's photographic image collection is a Designated Collection of national importance.

The photographic collection contains photographs from the City Engineer’s and Housing Departments, along with those by the renowned landscape and portrait photographer Edward Chambre Hardman, document the changing face of this internationally important city.

Collection details

Photography, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Southport Strings Ensemble

  • 13 May 2016 6:15-8:30pm

A welcome return as the young performers wow the audience with their skill and technique playing classical and folk string music.

Atrium, Ground Floor 18:15 – 19:00
Hornby Library, 1st Floor 19:45 – 20:30

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

So you think you know Anime

  • 13 May 2016 8:30-10:30pm

Discover, Ground Floor
A relaxed introduction to Japanese Animation followed by a Cosplay Catwalk. L.E.A.F. (League of Extraordinary Anime Fans) will take what people already know and expand on it, while challenging some common misconceptions.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Scottie Road Writers’ Tales

  • 13 May 2016 8-10pm

1st Floor, outside Hornby Library

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Rewind Fast Forward

  • 13 May 2016 7:30-7:45pm

Discover, Ground Floor

Rewind Fast Forward is a unique archive of filmmaker, DJ and feminist Sandi Hughes, featuring Liverpool's music, club, fashion sub-cultures and intersections with local LGBT and BAME history. Experience a special performance by Sandi and Liverpool drag legend Sean McKenna, using archive footage as well as new material.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Writing Advice Desk

  • 13 May 2016 5:30-7:30pm

Open until midnight with special performances, exhibitions plus BBQ on the cafe terrace 17.00-23.00

2nd Floor

Friendly on the spot advice of your creative writing from the Windows Project. Experiment with your writing: new formats, new themes, new ideas, plus details of publishing opportunities, performances venues, workshops and courses.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Silent Disco

  • 13 May 2016 8-11:30pm

Local underground house / techno party ST?TK join forces with Shush silent disco to host a night of cross genre music for all! Choose your channel and dance away at this unique event housed in the historic Picton Room!’s a library.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Sacred Spaces, Sanctuary

  • 13 May 2016 7:30-9:30pm

Atrium, Ground Floor

Sacred Spaces, Sanctuary is a research & development project that uses artistic practices, both traditional and digital, to unearth our shared connection with the planet, people’s relationship to sacred land and spaces that provide sanctuary. Enjoy workshops, ceramic instruments, soundscapes, moving image installations and interactive demonstrations for all ages.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Paper Dreams

  • 13 May 2016 6-6:30pm

A 10 minute play by Katrina Murray. Skye loves books – she reads and reads and reads. But one day in the library (her favourite place) she meets Timothy – a boy who’s never read a fiction book, and has spent his life in facts and figures. Can Skye show Timothy how great made up stories really are? And will he tell her his story?

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

The World of Dance – Flamenco, Samba and more!

  • 13 May 2016 7-7:45pm, 8:30-9:15pm

Hornby Library, 1st Floor

In collaboration with Alandalus Dance Company, Lydia Vines Belly Dance and Samba Livre bring you a fantastic mix of dances from across the world. From Argentina to Egypt, from the samba party to the passion of flamenco, there will be sequins, feathers, ruffles and more!

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Nicholas Hale: Experimental Shakespeare

  • 13 May 2016 6:15-9pm, 9:15-10pm

Hornby Library, 1st Floor
RADA-trained Nicholas Hale explores William Shakespeare's experimental nature and creative genius by looking at his life and some of his greatest plays, including A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Brouhaha International

  • 13 May 2016 6-7pm, 7-8pm, 8-9pm

4th Floor Meeting Room

Be creative with Brouhaha, who will be on hand to show you how to create carnival costumes, recycle materials into things of beauty! Creative workshops suitable for younger children.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Liverpool Central Library, Archive and Record Office
Liverpool Central Library and Archive
William Brown Street
L3 8EW


Archives Catalogue



General Enquiries

0151 233 5817

Microfilm/Microfiche bookings

0151 233 5811


0151 233 5886

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.