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Behind the scenes and the hidden treasures of Central Library

A behind-the-scenes photo tour and rarities from the vaults at Manchester’s Central Library

It's one year since Central Library reopened after its multimillion-pound refurbishment. In that time, more than 1.1 million visitors have been through its doors, it's been granted a wedding licence and even hosted Everything Everything as artists in residence.

Take a look at some of the building's stunning features as well as the behind-the-scenes work and the treasures within the library's vaults.

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The main entrance is known as the Shakespeare Hall because of its intricate stained glass window.

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The Reading Girl statue by Giovanni Ciniselli was given to the library in 1938.

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Restored to its original look, the Reading Room dominates the building and is known for its stunning dome. With space for 300 readers, the room is filled with original furniture.

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The Henry Watson Music Library is one of the largest music libraries in the country. It includes more than 360 Handel manuscripts and a further 50 Italian manuscripts from the same period, including some from Vivaldi.

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Along with books and sheet music, the music library includes a range of musical instruments including keyboards, guitars and an electric drumkit.

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Archives+ houses documents from the Greater Manchester County Record Office as well as the North West Film Archive.

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Digitalised records from the city's workhouses are available to view.

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The Committee Room was was originally where the Library Committee would meet and leaders of the library are commemorated along the walls. It is now used as a meeting room.

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Many of the library's items, including these catalogue record cards, are in the process of being digitalised.

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Older and damaged books and documents are restored in the Conservation Studio.

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The Conservation Studio.

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Items being restored in the Conservation Studio.

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A restored 18th century diary.

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The Library Theatre Archive is located within the vaults of the building.

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The Codex Justinianus is oldest book in the archive. It's a 13th century Roman law code.

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The Codex Justinianus.

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The library owns a copy of the Second Folio of Shakespeare's works. It was published in 1623, and also features the first printed poem by John Milton, although it is published anonymously.

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The Second Folio.

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Published in 1493, the Nuremberg Chronicle tells a history of the world. It marks the first time text and images were blended together in a book. Some of the images used of towns are stock images as it was expensive to create the woodcuts.

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Vesalius' De Humani Corporis Fabrica. Dating from 1543, it transformed the science of anatomy and is known for its detailed images.

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The detailed drawings in the De Humani Corporis Fabricawere made possible by Vesalius' experiences of dissection. 

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Dating from 1301, this is Manchester's first charter from Thomas Grelle, the Lord of Manchester. It is written in Medieval Latin and previously had a large seal attached to it.

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The visitors' book signed by George V when he opened the library in 1934.

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