Skip to Content

Become a Member

By joining the Portico Library, you can enjoy a number of benefits available to our members. To apply for membership, and for rates and further information, email


  1. Access to browse and borrow from an extensive, predominantly 19th century collection of over 25,000 volumes covering approximately 23 subjects

  2. Books from the 16th century to the present day

  3. Rapid response to request for materials

  4. Access to borrow from a select contemporary Fiction and Non-fiction collection

  5. Browse and enjoy forty-one journal and periodical subscriptions

  6. Five daily newspapers


  1. Generous loan periods

  2. No fines

  3. Postal loans service, by arrangement, to anywhere within the UK

  4. Advance reservation of books for collection

Members may make advance book requests which are normally dealt with within 48 hours of receipt. The requested books will be placed on the Reserved Shelf for collection for a period of up to two weeks. You can download the latest Accessions Booklist here:

Postal Loans

Books from the rolling, non-permanent stock may be sent to members at addresses throughout the United Kingdom by post. There is no additional charge for this service, beyond the standard postal fee. Members making use of the postal loans service are asked to open a postal account with a deposit of £10 (minimum). This account is then debited with the outward postal charges as books are requested. Members are reminded that they remain responsible for the safe custody of books from the time they leave the Library to the time they return.

  1. All loan enquiries can be made by:

  2. Email:

  3. Telephone: 0161 236 6785 or

  4. Post: Book Enquiries, The Portico Library, 57 Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3HY

Lunch & Refreshments

Members and researchers can enjoy lunch & refreshments every day in the Library. Our kitchen team work hard to design and deliver a seasonal menu with specials that change on a weekly basis. Wherever possible our food and cakes are freshly made, using homegrown ingredients. Click on the file below to download a sample menu.

Further Benefits of Membership

  1. Members-only access to the 19th century Reading Room, Cobden Area and Reading Corner

  2. Free, secure wireless internet access

  3. Reference enquiries and research assistance

  4. Subscription to our Quarterly newsletter

  5. Voting Rights in Library Matters (excluding Associate Members)

  6. Reduced rates on venue hire

  7. Members are welcome to bring guests to the Library

  8. Photocopying and digital imaging services

  9. A haven in which to work, read and relax in a city centre location

  10. The opportunity to meet and socialise with like-minded people and share common and newly discovered interests.

  11. As a member of the Portico, you will also join the community of the Association of Independent Libraries throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, many of which run reciprocal access facilities for members.