The Main Reading Room

John Rylands Library is located in the centre of Manchester, and is one of the foremost libraries in the world.  The collection includes one of the complete copies of the Gutenberg bible (there are 21 copies in the world), early printed works by William Caxton and the St Johns fragment – believed to be the oldest existing fragment of the New Testament and probably dating from the early 1st century.  Photography of these items is not allowed without permission, however photography of the building is allowed, and it makes an excellent subject.  The library was constructed at the end of the 19th century by Enriqueta Augustina Rylands in memory of her husband John Rylands, a wealthy Manchester industrialist. Although the building is in traditional gothic style, its design included modern innovations such as electric light and an early air conditioning system – all intended to preserve the documents  in a safe and clean environment.

Whilst photography is allowed in the building, use of tripods and access to the upper levels of the main reading room are restricted to specific photography tours on selected Sundays each month.   See the library website for details.


Location and Parking

Address/Postcode: 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

There are numerous car parks in central Manchester.  The nearest NCP car parks are at Watson Street, New Quay Street and Blackfriars Street.  Details of bus and tram links are available here.


Image Gallery

Side HallwayThe Entrance HallThe Main StairwayStairwell Ceiling DetailMechanical GameThe Main Reading RoomIn The Main Reading RoomThe Reader

Salford Quays