The RNCM Library supports the work of the College in teaching, learning, performance and research through the timely provision to students and staff of appropriate resources in printed, audio, video and online formats.

The Library aims to provide a supportive, welcoming environment for study and research. Library Staff are all music specialists who are dedicated to meeting the needs of their users.

In recognition of its strengths, the Library has received the Excellence Award for Music Libraries on four occasions from the International Association of Music Libraries (UK & Ireland).

A student studies at a desk in the RNCM library surrounded by books.

Collections and Facilities

The Library has a large and comprehensive collection of music (performance materials and scores), books, journals, CDs and DVDs, together with online resources including databases, journals, e-books and audio / video streaming services.

Networked IT facilities with a range of software are available in the Library for students. Other facilities include a digital microform reader, scanner and self-service binders.

The Library has archival and special collections of international significance, including manuscripts, personal papers and the administrative papers of the Royal Manchester College of Music, the Northern School of Music and the RNCM. It also houses collections connected with notable musicians and the Manchester European Wind Library (MEWL).

The Library has care of the RNCM Collection of Historic Musical Instruments, which comprises over 300 European and non-Western instruments, including notable examples of early keyboard, string, woodwind and brass instruments. The Collection is open to visitors every week during term-time – for more information check the website. Students are strongly encouraged to make use of the archive and instrument collections as part of their studies.

Opening Hours

Term Time

Monday – Thursday:   9.30am – 7pm
Friday:  9.30am – 5pm
Saturday:  9am – 1pm
Sunday:  CLOSED

All opening times are subject to staff availability and the Library reserves the right to close if necessary. You are advised to phone in advance if you are making a special journey to visit the Library (0161 907 5243)

Please note: online resources are still available while the Library is closed using the links on Moodle, or your Athens login.

Find Us

The RNCM Library is situated on the ground floor of the College building, to the left of the main entrance on Booth Street West.

Library Links and More

The Library co-operates with other libraries, particularly in the Manchester area. It is a member of (NoWAL) North West Academic Libraries

The Library is also a member of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres (IAML) and staff actively participate in IAML (UK & Irl).

In addition to this site, you can access information about the Library on the RNCM Library Facebook page and on Twitter where you can find news and links to our online resources.

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act (2000) provides a general right of access to information held by public bodies, including colleges and universities, subject to certain exemptions; this is to promote openness and accountability.

To promote public awareness of our activities a lot of information is available through the College Information Guide, which can be downloaded on the left hand side of this page, along with our Freedom of Information policy. If the information you are looking for is not accessible you can request it in a different format. Please contact the Archivist/Records Manager for further information.

Make a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.