The John Rylands Library
The John Rylands Library merged with Manchester University Library in 1972 to form the John Rylands University Library of Manchester.
The library is closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and between Christmas and New Year.
The John Rylands Library is a public library, open to everyone. Entry is free.
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.
Social History, Literature, Archives
Key artists and exhibits
- Methodist Archives and Research Centre
- Labour History Archive and Study Centre
- Designated Collection
- 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.
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.
Whimsical Wednesday: Decoupage
- 27 May 2015 11am-2pm *on now
Join us for a spot of decoupage. Use delightful images from our collections to decorate a special souvenir box to take home.
- 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
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.
The John Rylands Library
Visitor and event information
Visitor and Event enquiries
0161 306 0555
0161 834 5574