The John Rylands Library is a late-Victorian neo-Gothic building on Deansgate in Manchester, England. The library, which opened to the public in 1900, was founded by Enriqueta Augustina Rylands in memory of her husband, John Rylands. Neo-gothic library (part of the University of Manchester) with rare books & manuscripts, a cafe & shop.
The John Rylands Research Institute and Library promotes research in the humanities and sciences using the astonishingly rich special collections of the University of Manchester Library. Based in one of the finest neo-Gothic buildings in Europe and in the heart of Manchester, it is a dynamic community of world-leading researchers, curators, conservators and imaging specialists, all focused on our core mission to define the human experience over five millennia and up to the current day.
For those who set eyes on Deansgate’s The John Rylands Research Institute and Library for the first time, ‘library’ might not be the first word that comes to mind. This masterpiece of Victorian Gothic architecture looks more like a castle or cathedral. When John Rylands died in 1888, he was one of Manchester’s most successful industrialists with a personal fortune of £2.75million. The library was commissioned in 1890 by his wife Enriqueta Rylands in memory of her late husband.
This world-class collection includes the oldest known piece of the New Testament, the St John Fragment. Other treasures of the vast, varied collection include magnificent illuminated medieval manuscripts and a 1476 William Caxton edition of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
We work with researchers across the humanities and the sciences to realise the research potential of our Special Collections