John Rylands University Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 3EH

A rare opportunity to explore highlights from Alison Uttley’s remarkable archive, within a building of breath-taking beauty.

Alison Uttley was the second woman ever to graduate from The University of Manchester, with an honours degree in Physics in 1906, and a blue plaque is displayed in her honour at the University.

The Alison Uttley Archive is held at the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library on Deansgate. It includes an extraordinary set of Uttley’s diaries, spanning the period from the 1930s to the 1970s, which document her life and times in incredible detail. The Collection Encounter will also include a selection of her correspondence and copies of her works, in manuscript and typescript formats.

Aliso Uttley once lived in Knutsford and is being celebrated as part of Knutsford Promenades’ ‘From Station to Station’ celebration of Amazing Women. A grande dame of British literature, she was the author of more than a hundred books, the best known of which are her country novels and her many books for children. This event is an outstanding opportunity to discover more about this complex and extraordinary woman.

Uttley herself was the subject of a fascinating biography written by Professor Denis Judd based, in large part, on her diaries.

Opening Times

Thursday 13 September: 1500-1630

Booking Details

No booking required


There is no parking at the Library, due to its location. Entrance to the Library is through a modern extension that links to the Historic building and is fully accessible with level access. There is a power-assisted entrance door to the left of the revolving door, operated by a push button. Please be careful, the floor is slate and can be slippery in wet weather. Mats are used to keep the floor dry. There are portable folding stools available in the Atrium which you can take with you as you explore the Library. There is one accessible toilet in the basement of the modern building.

Additional Information

Alison Uttley’s novel ‘A Traveller in Time’ provided the creative inspiration for ‘from Station to Station’, the play about Alison Uttley and Elizabeth Gaskell specially commissioned by Knutsford Promenades that is being performed during HODs. The University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library is one of the world’s great libraries, housing an astonishing array of rare books, manuscripts, archives and visual materials. It is a late-Victorian neo-Gothic building which was founded by Enriqueta Augustina Rylands in memory of her husband, John Rylands and opened to the public in 1900. Contact for the day: John Hodgson
Twitter @KnutsfordProms


Organised by

Knutsford Promenades