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Launching the John Rylands Research Institute and Library

From today, 9 March 2021, the iconic John Rylands Library will be known as the John Rylands Research Institute and Library, heralding an exciting new partnership between the Library and the John Rylands Research Institute.

The renaming signals much closer collaboration between researchers and library staff, in order to promote more effectively world-class research and public engagement with research, based on our remarkable special collections of rare books, manuscripts, archives, maps and visual collections. 

The John Rylands Research Institute was established in 2013 as a partnership between the Library and the Faculty of Humanities to encourage research using the Library’s unique collections. It has already achieved a huge amount, revitalising collections-based research and attracting significant investment into cataloguing, digitisation, advanced imaging and collection care.

This partnership is now moving to another level, led by Professor Hannah Barker, Director of the John Rylands Research Institute, and Professor Christopher Pressler, John Rylands University Librarian and Director of the University of Manchester Library.

The John Rylands Research Institute and Library (Rylands for short) serves as a catalyst and focus for the world-leading research of the University, with the aim of drawing the best minds to Manchester and establishing it as one of the great centres for the study of textual, material and visual cultures. The research incorporates new approaches in digital humanities and curation, as well as scientific techniques in the study and conservation of heritage materials.

A tangible manifestation of this deeper partnership is a new website, https://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/rylands/, that brings together for the first time information on our collections and our research.

The formation of the Rylands coincides with a successful bid, worth nearly £800,000, to the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Capability for Collections (CapCo) fund. The award is enabling us to purchase state-of-the art cameras, visualisers, microscopes and oral history equipment to support our ground-breaking imaging and conservation units and the work of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre, further enhancing the research capability of the collections and making new discoveries possible. The leading-edge equipment will provide flexible digitisation, investigation and data collection solutions to support multidisciplinary research.

Multispectral image of the Syriac Galen Palimspest

John Hodgson is Head of Special Collections at The University of Manchester Library.

2 comments on “Launching the John Rylands Research Institute and Library

  1. Janette Allotey

    This is wonderful news 🙂

  2. Excellent news. Congratulations to all involved

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