Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society

The Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society was founded on 28 February 1781 for "promoting the advancement of education and the widening of public interest in and appreciation of any form of literature, science, the arts and public affairs". It is the second oldest learned society in Britain. The earliest meetings took place in a room in the original Cross St Chapel, but in 1799 the Society moved to 36 George Street.

By the 1860s, its membership had expanded to over 200, and included prominent merchants, engineers and manufacturers. John Dalton was a member from 1794 until his death in 1844, and much of his original research was done in a laboratory at the Society’s George Street House. Other notable past members include James Prescott Joule, Peter Mark Roget, William Fairbairn, Henry Roscoe, Ernest Rutherford, Joseph Whitworth,Tom Kilburn and Alan Turing.

Since 1981, the Society has not had its own premises; today it operates from an office and small library within Manchester Metropolitan University.