Central Library

Arts and Culture

See the famous collections of rare books housed in the magnificent Hornby Library and Oak Room. View the impressive Picton Reading Room, one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.

Picton Reading Room

Central Library is one of the most beautiful libraries in Britain, enjoy reading a book or exploring the vast archives.

Liverpool Makefest 

Central Library are hosting. Open to all ages showcasing science, technology, engineering and art! You can join in or simply marvel at the amazing things on show. Free event.

See the famous collections of rare books housed in the magnificent Hornby Library and Oak Room.

 

View the impressive Picton Reading Room, one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.

 

Sir James Picton laid the foundation stone of the Picton Reading Room in 1875. It was designed by Cornelius Sherlock, and modelled after the British Museum Reading Room, and was the first electrically lit library in the UK. It was completed in 1879. The front is semi-circular with Corinthian columns, and the shape was chosen by the architect to cover the change in the axis of the row of buildings at this point.

 

See the famous collections of rare books housed in the magnificent Hornby Library and Oak Room.

 

The Hornby Reading Room (named after Hugh Frederick Hornby) by Thomas Shelmerdine was added in 1906. It stands behind the older building and the interior is decorated in the Edwardian Imperial style.
Study our unique and rare archives from the 13th century to the present day which tell Liverpool’s story.

 

Whether you peruse at your leisure at the thousands of books or marvel at the Picton Reading room or attend many of their events, Central Library is a great place to visit.