Skip to main content

22nd February 2024

John Rylands Library to undergo major £7.6m transformation

The John Rylands will undergo a £7.6m revision, allowing the building to meet mid-21st century needs
John Rylands Library to undergo major £7.6m transformation
John Rylands Library: Mike Peel @ Wikimedia Commons

The University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library in Deansgate will undergo a major transformation after Manchester city council recently approved the plans.

‘John Rylands Next Chapter’, projected to cost £7.6m, will result in a complete refurbishment of the library, which has not been updated since 2007.

Other changes include “an updated exhibition space, an advanced imaging laboratory, a flexible event space and a refreshed main entrance.”

Professor Christopher Pressler, John Rylands University Librarian and Director of the University of Manchester Library, said “the Next Chapter Project will deliver world-class facilities for research and engagement” and “will reinforce the Rylands’ importance to the University, the city of Manchester and world heritage.”

John Rylands Library Study Area: Michael Beckwith @ Wikimedia Commons

The scheme will attempt to protect and evolve the 19th century building. John Rylands Library is expected to remain open during the transformation, although certain areas will close when required.

The library, which opened to the public in 1900, was founded by Enriqueta Augustine Rylands in memory of her husband John Rylands.

By Enriqueta’s death in 1908, the library already more than 50,000 volumes. Being incorporated into the University of Manchester Library in 1972, it is the third largest academic library in the UK.

It is an example of Victorian Gothic architecture and was granted Grade I listed status in 1994. Its most recent expansion was a £17 million project completed in 2007.

John Rylands Library is open to library readers and visitors from 10am to 5pm on Wednesday to Saturday.

More Coverage

Who’s standing in Manchester’s Mayoral Elections?

The Manchester Mayoral Election is taking place on May 2, but who is standing?

Pro-Palestine groups occupy the Roscoe Building

In what is their second occupation of a University building in the last month, Pro-Palestine groups have occupied the Roscoe Building to protest alleged University connections to Israel and its complicity in the conflict in Gaza

Night and Day Cafe’s legal battle comes to an end

The venue can still operate as long as they keep to a reduced noise capacity between 11 pm-3 am during DJ club nights

Nearly half of student gamblers are gambling more than they can afford

The majority of students (60%) had gambled in the past 12 months, although this was a decrease from last year (71%)