John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Housing a world-class collection of books and manuscripts, the John Ryalands Library building is in itself a masterpiece. Built at the end of the nineteenth century to house a number of significant collections assembled by Enriqueta Rylands in memory of her late husband, the cotton magnate John Rylands, the Grade 1 listed building, designed by Basil Champneys has one of the most stimulating and uplifting interiors in Manchester. By 2000 redevelopment of the Rylands became necessary to improve physical access and to conserve the original building. The £16m works included a new entrance building, permanent exhibitions a new roof and improvement to security.

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