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jamesmiddleton
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
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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.


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