John Rylands Library

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Manchester is one of the biggest cities in Great Britain. This city lives its absolutely unique and bright life.

Here you shall find the worldwide known John Rylands Library which is also a popular and tourist destination in Great Britain.

John Rylands Library: the history of the foundation

The library was founded by the wife of the famous English entrepreneurs and philanthropist John Rylands. When she became a widow, Enriqueta Augustina Rylands decided to memorialize her beloved husband in such a way. The library opened its doors to the readers in 1900.

Initially, it was intended for the library to specialize in theological literature. As a result, it was decided to erect a building with a religious meaning. That’s why the Gothic style was chosen. The interior was based on Chester Cathedral. Basil Champneys, the most renowned architect of that time was invited to project the library.

The building was technically equipped on the highest level. An incredibly complex ventilating construction was made in order to keep the books safe. It operated on electricity, while the process of cleaning the air was made with the help of water filters. The rooms in the library were illuminated with new electrical lamps instead of the widespread at that time oil and gas lamps.

In 1972, John Rylands Library and Manchester University Library blended and founded a single book fund.

Book Fund

In order to form the fund, Enriqueta Rylands purchased a huge collection of books by George John Spencer which included 40 thousand books. It costed a fortune! Nowadays, the fund consists of hundreds of thousands of volumes.

In this library, you may find the most unique copies. Such as:

  • the collection of papyri;
  • the apocryphal Gospel of Mary;
  • the canonical Gospel of John;
  • the Gutenberg Bible;
  • several books of the first English publisher Caxton, and others.

The architects who had worked on the creation of John Rylands Library managed to produce a real masterpiece. They did not only succeed to construct a building which fully suits its direct function but also saved the grandeur of the Gothic style in the proportions of the construction and its interior.

Manchester Town Hall also amazes and attracts tourists by its architecture. This construction is an excellent example of realization of the Neo-gothic style with a touch of early British Gothic.

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