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Special collections at the library

A special collection is a group of items which are unique or more valuable in some way from standard library items. It can be a group of books, maps, digital materials or something else.

We've a range of special collections in Rochdale borough. Some are only held at certain libraries. All of our collections are available to browse and reserve on our library catalogue. In addition you can browse and reserve special collections across any Greater Manchester libraries.

Browse and reserve special collections on the library catalogue

What special collections can you reserve?

Our special collections include:

Maskew collection: the Maskew collection is a unique collection of classic literature and philosophy resources available at Rochdale Central Library.

It's named after Mrs Annie Maskew and Mr Frank Maskew who first met in our old Rochdale library in the 1950s. When Annie passed away in 2006, she left us a request and some funds to purchase literature and philosophy resources to inspire future generations in the joy of reading and thinking.

Large print book collection: large print books are available in all our libraries. The collections include fiction by most popular authors and a range of non-fiction titles.

Audiobooks collection including eAudiobooks: the largest collection of most recent audiobook titles is held at Rochdale Central Library, with smaller selections at Heywood, Middleton, Darnhill and Littleborough. Find out about audiobook charges

You can also download eAudiobooks free of charge with BorrowBox. There are hundreds of eAudiobook titles available to download to devices such as MP3 players, iPads and iPhones. Find out how to download BorrowBox on your phone or tablet

Vocal score collection: we've a collection of vocal scores for use by choral societies. There is no charge to borrow sets which are in stock. You can browse the catalogue for vocal scores. However, if you wish to borrow sets in stock or can't find what you're looking for please get in touch.

Urdu collection: our main Urdu Collection is held at Rochdale Central Library, with smaller selections at Smallbridge Library and Belfield Library.

Urdu fiction and non-fiction books are available for adults and children. Most of the Urdu fiction is by Urdu authors but there are also popular western titles translated into Urdu. We also have a selection of digests.

Around the world collection: our around the world collection is held at the Rochdale Central Library where you can access popular titles in Polish and Bengali. Balderstone Library also has titles in Polish.

We may be able to stock books in a wide range of other languages. Please get it touch using the contact details on this page to request items in other languages.

Reminiscence collection: a wide range of reminiscence material is available from Rochdale Local Studies Library - Touchstones. They cover topics such as schooldays, make do and mend, swinging sixties, during the war and transport.

The collection consists of different materials, such as photos, documents and books. They're mainly loaned to nursing and residential homes for group activity sessions. They're also available for any Rochdale borough library member to borrow.


0300 303 8876

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm.
Closed for training Monday 11am-11.30am.

Did you know?

You can join the library for FREE and anyone can join. It only takes a couple of minutes to join online. You can use your account to:

  • Borrow items from any library in Greater Manchester.
  • Choose from thousands of great books and audiobooks.
  • Reserve and renew books.
  • Download the latest eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and eGraphicnovels ​to your smartphone, tablet or desktop.
  • Access a range of online resources from help with passing your driving theory test to advice for local businesses.

Please remember to bring identification when you first visit the library to borrow items - for example, utility bill, driving licence or bank statement.

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