Closure for Improvements to Central Library

Middlesbrough Central Library will close to the public from Monday 4th December 2023 until Autumn 2024

A host of improvements will breathe new life into Middlesbrough Central Library while protecting its Carnegie-designed Grade II listed heritage.

Following a successful bid to the Cultural Development Fund, £5m will be invested across Central Library, MIMA, Middlesbrough Railway Station and The Auxiliary.

The ground floor of Central Library will be upgraded to incorporate a family focused library & learning space plus a seperate adult lending area. This area will be transformed into a captivating location to host events and activities promoting a lifelong love of literacy and creativity.

Central Library's original historic features will remain a key part of its offer, with planned improvements including a fully accessible passenger lift, new accessible toilets and baby-change facilities. There will also be a new flexible event space created along with a new IT suite and family history study space.

The Reference Library's historic features will remain unchanged, with adjoining rooms reconfigured to further improve the space for users.

Alternative Provision During Refurbishment


Reference Services

During the closure period, if you would like to view any of the titles located in the Reference library, we may be able to arrange for items to be sent to one of our other libraries and community hubs for you to access. 

For further information about this, or to enquire about using a microfilm reader,  please e-mail

Please note, access to these services may not always be possible. 

Middlesbrough Reference Library

Find the following services and more here:

  • Access to family history resources
  • Access to local historic documents
  • Information on local public services
  • Free access to the internet and Wi-Fi
  • Photocopying and printing services

A Brief History

The Central Public Library 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. This was Middlesbrough’s first purpose built public library.

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

Contact Information

📍 Centre Square, Middlesbrough, TS1 2AY

📞 01642 729001


Currently closed for refurbishment. Click HERE for more details