University of Manchester Library

Location
  • Archives Hub Features
  • Related Resources
  • Web
  • Email
  • Telephone
      +44(0)1612753764
  • Address
      150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH, United Kingdom
  • Directions
      There are two Special Collections Reading Rooms. One is located at The John Rylands Library on Deansgate in the city centre. The other is at the Main Library on the Oxford Road campus.
  • Opening Hours
    • John Rylands Library Reading Room: Monday 12.00-17.00; Tuesday-Saturday 10.00-17.00, Sunday 12.00-17.00 / Main Library Reading Room: Monday-Friday, 09.30-12.30, 13.30-16.30 / For further information see http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/rylands/visit/opening-times/
  • Access Information
      Readers ticket required. Proof of identity required
  • Advance Orders
      It is essential to contact us in advance of any visit. We can then retrieve the materials you want before you arrive. This is particularly important on your first visit.
  • Refreshment Area
      Cafe Rylands, in the John Rylands Library, is open at weekends
  • Archival and Other Holdings

    The University of Manchester Library holds one of the finest collections of rare books, manuscripts and archives in the world. Both The John Rylands Library and Victoria University of Manchester Library had built up outstanding Special Collections. After their merger in 1972, these collections were concentrated in the magnificent Deansgate Building of The John Rylands Library, in the centre of Manchester.

    The printed collections encompass almost all the landmarks of printing through five centuries: magnificent illustrated books, examples of fine printing, landmark works in typography, key historical texts and exquisite bookbindings.

    We hold over 4,000 incunables, including the largest collection of Aldines in the world and the second largest collection of works printed by Caxton.

    The collections cover a wide range of subjects: theology and philosophy; literature, drama and music; art and archaeology; science and medicine; economic, social, political and military history; travel and exploration. The vast majority of the Special Collections printed books are recorded in our online printed-book catalogue.

    The Library's manuscript collections cover more than fifty languages, including all the major European and Middle Eastern languages, and numerous Far Eastern ones. They span five millennia, and are written on virtually every medium ever employed. The subject range is vast, encompassing literary, historical, antiquarian, genealogical, biblical, devotional, ritualistic, medical, scientific, legal and administrative texts.

    The Library holds several hundred archives of companies, business associations, trade unions, charities, social organizations and religious institutions, as well as landed families.

    Particular strengths include Nonconformist archives (especially of Methodism); archives of recent and contemporary literature and drama; the archives of the University of Manchester; and the papers of individual scientists and academics.

    Most Special Collections are held at The John Rylands Library.

    Other collections are held at the Main Library on the Oxford Road campus. These include the archives of the University of Manchester, Christian Brethren Archives, many scientific and medical archives, and post-1800 medical books.

Collections