The John Rylands Library

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The John Rylands Library merged with Manchester University Library in 1972 to form the John Rylands University Library of Manchester.

Venue Type:

Library, Archive

Opening hours

For visitors:
Mon 12.00-17.00
Tues-Sat 10.00-17.00
Sun 12.00-17.00

The library is closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and between Christmas and New Year.

Admission charges

The John Rylands Library is a public library, open to everyone. Entry is free.

Additional info

The Library's collections are open to Readers aged 18 and over. However, to look at special material, a letter of reference is required.

The special collections and Manchester Medical Society Library are Designated Collections of national importance.

The special collections represent an outstanding national and regional resource, combining material of international significance with collections directly relevant to the history and wider impact of Manchester and the North West. The Manchester Medical Society Library contains medical printed books dating between c. 1800-1950, associated with the Manchester Medical Society.

Collection details

Social History, Literature, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • Methodist Archives and Research Centre
  • Labour History Archive and Study Centre
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

Later-Day Saints

  • 23 January — 28 June 2015 *on now

Our ancestors often relied on their beliefs to make sense of their world - is there an equivalent in our modern world of celebrity and material culture?

Later-Day Saints brings the medieval cult of saints into the contemporary world, offering a snapshot of modern life with a hint of humour.

Local artist Alan Birch draws inspiration from objects of popular fascination and obsession, including Kindles, pit bulls and the Olympic torch, to present a print series of contemporary saints.

Suitable for


The weather and its moods

  • 12 March — 28 June 2015 *on now

The weather is fascinating. We can hardly avoid talking about it and how it makes us feel.

This exhibition uses items from the Library’s collections to explore descriptions, reflections, memories and stories based on people’s experiences of the weather.

Weather represents change - we invite visitors to question their own relationship with the weather.

Suitable for


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Encountering Italy

  • 3 June 2015 12-1pm

This monthly series of lunchtime talks introduces the new John Rylands Research Institute and its vibrant research portfolio. Each informal, accessible seminar showcases cutting-edge research on documents from the last 3,000 years, illustrating how the Library's world-class collections are shaping knowledge in fields from papyrus to photography, theology to the occult.

Speakers: Dr Guyda Armstrong, Senior Lecturer in Italian, The University of Manchester Caroline Checkley-Scott, Collection Care Manager, The University of Manchester Library Anne-Marie Stead, Italian Studies, The University of Manchester

Suitable for


Whimsical Wednesday: Marbling workshop

  • 24 June 2015 11am-2pm

Many of the Library's books are adorned with beautiful marbled papers.

Join us to have a go at this ancient art form and take home what you make.

Suitable for


The John Rylands Library
150 Deansgate
Greater Manchester
M3 3EH



Reader enquiries

Visitor and event information


Visitor and Event enquiries

0161 306 0555


0161 834 5574

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.