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
Darkness and Light: Exploring Gothic
- 16 July — 20 December 2015 *on now
From the fantastical to the macabre, this intriguing exhibition unearths Gothic treasures from our Special Collections and investigates subjects as varied as classic literature, contemporary Gothic subculture and architecture. Experience spooky Gothic tours of the Library, classic Gothic film screenings and creepy craft activities!
- Any age
Children's Spooky Gothic Tour
- 1 August 2015 11am-12pm *on now
Come along to The John Rylands Library for a fun behind-the-scenes tour; there's plenty hidden in the Library's eerie Gothic corridors. Along the way, we'll take inspiration from our Darkness and Light exhibition to weave a spooky story!
Darkness and Light: A Gothic tour
- 15 August 2015 2-3pm
A behind-the-scenes tour of The John Rylands Library in all its Victorian Gothic splendour; taking in the original entrance hall, the eerie cellars and the spectacular Historic Reading Room. Along the way, this tour takes inspiration from some of the incredible items on display in our Darkness and Light exhibition.
Delve into the history of Gothic literature and learn about the Library's striking neo-Gothic architecture.
- Not suitable for children
The John Rylands Library
Visitor and event information
Visitor and Event enquiries
0161 306 0555
0161 834 5574