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The John Rylands Research Institute

The Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre

Our unique library and archive collections tell the story of race, diversity and multiculturalism in Manchester, the UK and America.

Open access library

Drop in to our extensive open access library, located on the lower ground floor of Manchester Central Library. The library covers a range of historical, national and international perspectives on race, through a wide variety of materials, from academic and popular books to reports, teaching resources, pamphlets and journals, much of which is loanable. Read more...

Local studies

Within the library you will find the Manchester section; a growing collection of locally published books, pamphlets and resources telling the story of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Manchester (BAME). This is rare material so we keep it safe in locked bookcases, but you can ask at our enquiry desk (weekdays, 9.30am - 4.30pm) for access. Read more...

Oral histories

Oral histories - the voices of real people - are a significant and extremely rich part of our collection. We hold more than 300 individual interviews, mostly with members of the local BAME community talking about life in multicultural Manchester. You can read transcripts and summaries in the library, and listen to audio files on request. Read more...

Rare and controversial books

A growing collection of old, rare and controversial books and journals is kept in our archive. You'll find most of these books in the library catalogue but will need to request them from the archive. Read more...


Our historical archive is a rich resource for researchers. Collections focus on local BAME community history, but we also hold significant national collections, such as papers of the Commission for Racial Equality and the Institute of Race Relations. Read more...

For a thematic way into the collections take a look at our subject resource lists.

Contact us


Lower Ground Floor
Central Library
St Peter’s Square
M2 5PD


Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre
Central Library
Manchester City Council
PO BOX 532
Albert Square
M60 2LA