John Rylands University Library of Manchester, Deansgate Building

Repository code: GB 0133
Address: 150 Deansgate, Manchester
Postcode: M3 3EH
Telephone: 0161 834 5343
Fax: 0161 8345574
Enquiries: Head of Special Collections
Strengths: The Deansgate Building of the John Rylands University Library constitutes the Special Collection Department of the University of Manchester.

Its Manuscripts and Archives section includes holdings of individual manuscript items in over fifty languages, including all the major European and Middle Eastern languages, and numerous Far Eastern scripts. 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. In addition to family muniment collections, the Library now holds the archives of numerous companies, business associations, trade unions, charities, social organizations and religious institutions. The Methodist Church and other Nonconformist denominations are particularly well represented. The archives of Manchester University and the papers of individual scientists and academics are another important element in the Library’s holdings, while the large archive of the Manchester Guardian newspaper is a key resource for a wide range of research interests. In another area, the Library is continually adding to its wealth of 20th-century literary and dramatic archives.

The printed book collections of the JRULM are among the finest in the world, including some 4,000 incunables, representing over 500 European presses, including the largest collection of Aldines in the world and the second largest collection of works printed by Caxton. There are some 12,500 books printed between 1475 and 1640, and some 45,000 printed between 1641 and 1700. 18th- and 19th-century holdings comprise 160,000 and 400,000 volumes respectively. These collections encompass almost all the landmarks of printing through five centuries, including magnificent illustrated books, examples of fine printing, landmark works in typography, key historical texts and exquisite bookbindings. They cover a wide range of subjects: theology and philosophy; economic, social, political and military history; travel and exploration; literature, drama and music; art and archaeology; science and medicine.

Mundus collections: 1
Access conditions: Admission to the Deansgate Building for reading purposes is by ticket only, either a valid University of Manchester Library card or a ticket issued from Deansgate itself. In the latter case prior written application is normally required though immediate admission may sometimes be possible on production of a letter of introduction and/or formal proof of identity. In either case additional identification or authorization may be requested where the reader wishes to consult especially rare books or manuscripts, or certain deposited collections. The Library reserves the right to refuse applications for tickets in the interests of the conservation and security of stock. No charge is made for readers' tickets issued from the Deansgate Building. Special access arrangements for external users apply at the Main University Library. In all cases readers are advised to contact the Library in advance of their visit.
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10.00-17.30, Saturday 10.00-13.00. Closed: Sundays, Public Holidays and throughout the Christmas to New Year period.