The John Rylands Library

A Grade I listed neo-gothic library on Deansgate, which has been open to public readers since 1900 and is part of The University of Manchester.

The John Rylands Library holds more than 250,000 printed volumes, over a million manuscripts and the Special Collections of The University of Manchester Library.

Its impressive neo-gothic building was designed in 1889 by the architect Basil Champneys and took ten years to build. The library was founded by Enriqueta Rylands in memory of her husband John.

The building is free to enter for the public, open 7 days a week and there are tours typically every Wednesday and Friday 3-3.30pm. These provide the opportunity to learn more about the history of the library and its collection.

The library hosts many displays, events and readings – which often take place inside The Historic Reading Room and surrounding galleries.

Displays have included ‘The Reformation’ exhibition and ‘Lives of Letters’, which showcased letters from cultural icons such as Sigmund Freud, Allen Ginsberg and Ted Hughes.

Literary events regularly take place at the library – including Manchester Literature Festival events. In 2018, Rosie Garland, author of Manchester-based novel The Night Brother (amongst others), became writer-in-residence of the library