July 17th 2014 was the 80th anniversary of the official opening of Manchester Central Library by King George V.

Thousands of people lined the streets to get a glimpse of the King and Queen and to celebrate the opening of the new Library.727.8, Central Library Royal OpeningThe beautiful building, designed by architect E. Vincent Harris is actually the fourth Central Library in Manchester’s history and due to its neo-classical style often mistaken for being much older.

Following Central Library’s refurbishment we thought it only fitting to celebrate the 80th anniversary in style. We commissioned a birthday cake and a group of year 8 students from Our Lady’s R.C. High School in Blackley helped Councillor Rosa Battle and Head of Libraries Neil MacInnes cut the cake. They also sang Happy Birthday!Happy 80th Birthday Central Library!We also took the opportunity to have some of our archive collections relating to Central Library out on the handling table in the Archives+ exhibition area. These items included one of the handkerchief‘s given to school children who attended the official opening, 2 large scrap books including press cuttings from the day and several items relating to the Royal visit such as the original menu.Happy 80th Birthday Central Library!If you’re interested in the history of Manchester Central Library then come and take a look at Library City part of our exhibition showcasing the history of Libraries in Manchester.

Here’s a close up of the lovely cake, made by Martin’s Bakery. In case you were wondering, there wasn’t a crumb left.Happy 80th Birthday Central Library!