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Manor Court House


The Library

Welcome, and thank you for visiting the Epworth Mechanics' Institute Library online.

The Library was founded in 1837 and is one of the few remaining operating Mechanics' Institutes. The Library offers  both fiction and reference books and is also the home of the Houghton Archive.

Although the Library is open to the general public (at duty Librarian's discretion), membership only costs

£1 per annum. Books may be borrowed from the library at a cost of 10p per book per week. The large fiction section contains modern fiction and books collected over the years since 1837. The older books are kept under the Library's unique cataloguing system,with over 78 seperate alphabetical locations. However,we do have a computer system and friendly librarians to help you! 

The Houghton Archive
Opening Times

The archive is named after a Stanley Houghton, a former Head Librarian/Honorary Secretary. It features original copies of the Epworth Bells newspaper since 1872 and local history books, documents, photos and maps. Photocopying facilities are available

and photos/scans may be taken providing permission is sought from the Librarians.

The Library is open to members and the general public on

Tuesday: 10am -12 noon

Thursday:1.30pm -4pm 

Friday: 7.30pm-9.30pm

The Houghton and Epworth Bells archive will be open on Friday evenings only (starting Aug 13th 2021)

If you wish to carry out research, you must book a slot.

Each slot lasts 45 mins and only 2 people can be admitted for the duration of each slot.


8.30pm-9.15 pm

Each person will be allocated their own table.

Please note, there is no access to the public to the Reading Room. Library staff will locate your requests for items and bring books etc into the main library.

We reserve the right to limit the number of resources used.

Please be aware that face coverings/masks are requested to be worn, if you are able.

Slots can be booked by sending an email to:

More about books

Within the fiction section, we have a large number of crime fiction books . Here you will find many.  modern crime authors as well as established authors such as Agatha Christie. Modern versions include detectives such as Wallender,Gently,Morse,Montalbano and others,who have featured in television series.


Although most of our books are fiction, the Library does have a reference section . Ther main categories are biography/autobiography,sport,poetry,gardeningcraft/hobbies,histor,/nature,travel,cookery ,humour,miscellaneous,Royalty and general reference. We even have early editions of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, with engravings rather than photos!

Epworth Mechanics' Institute Library,

 took part in the Co-op Local Community Fund.


We aim to update the local history resource which the library can access more efficiently to help members and visitors with their searches. 

Total received £2,698.78


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