Skip to main content
Sign up to receive our newsletters!

Central Library

The centrepiece of the town's library offer, set in a historic building

Central Library is housed in a magnificent, 110-year-old, Grade II listed building in what is now Middlesbrough’s Centre Square.

It was officially opened in 1912 by Alderman Amos Hinton. Built on two plots of land, one donated by Sir Hugh Bell, the other by Alderman Amos Hinton, the foundation stone was laid in 1910 and the building, sometimes known as the Carnegie Library was officially opened on May 5th 1912.

In its original form it provided a lending library where boys’ and girls’ sections were separated by screen, a ladies’ reading room, a central news room with a separate entrance in Grange Road and on the first floor were the law patent and reference libraries.

The Local Collection
The Local Collection can be found in Middlesbrough Reference Library which has a splendid old-world interior ideally suited to studying the local area in a peaceful and relaxed environment.

The local area stretches from the Tyne to the Humber and embraces Yorkshire, Durham, and the Tees Valley. The Reference Library has around 20,000 local history books.

  • Large scale historical & Ordnance Survey maps
  • Microfilmed local newspapers
  • Photographs
  • Electoral registers
  • Trade directories
  • Books and pamphlets
  • Family history resources, including Find My Past and Ancestry, parish registers and cemetery records on microfilm.
  • Local council minutes
  • The Library also sells a number of local publications

Seed Library
The seed library is housed in its own cabinet with colour-coded drawers packed full of fruit, vegetable, herb and flower seeds, with an index containing information on the different varieties and is open to the whole community to use.

The map collection consists of historical plans and large Scale Ordnance Survey Sheet Maps for Middlesbrough and Cleveland covering 1850s-1990s. There are also geological maps and Goad shopping centre plans.

Family and Local History resources
Computers are free to use and include access to Find My Past, Ancestry, and the British Newspaper Archive. The library holds parish register transcripts, and parish registers on microfilm, monumental inscriptions, and local directories from 1822 onwards. Electoral rolls for Middlesbrough are held from 1933 onwards, and cemetery records are also held on microfilm.

These include street scenes of old Middlesbrough, buildings, portraits of famous local people, aerial views, and postcards.

My Town, My Future
My Town, My Future is an exciting project looking at the past, present and future of Middlesbrough. Central Lbrary have been working with volunteers to digitise their fantastic collection of historic photographs of Middlesbrough, some of which have never been seen by the public, and now they’re been shared on this website.

Newspapers and Magazines
The library holds the Evening Gazette on microfilm 1869 to date and a range of other local newspapers. They offer microfilm machines which allow access to our Evening Gazette archive and other resources.

Spaces are also available for hire at Central Library.

Central Library Lego Club

Join Central Library for a creative free LEGO session each week for members of the family.

The whole family can get creative every Saturday at Middlesbrough’s Central Library between 10am – 11am at their LEGO Club, which is FREE to attend.

Suitable for children aged 4+ who must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Limited places are available each week, please phone: 01642 729002 to book a place.

Find Central Library