Abstract
The John Rylands Library is an outstanding example of neo-Gothic architecture, and is without parallel in Britain as a memorial library. This article situates the Library‘s foundation at the close of the nineteenth century within the economic and cultural development of Manchester, the worlds first industrial city, and within wider trends in library history. Enriqueta Rylands‘s aims in establishing the Library are analysed, as well as her influence on the design and construction of the building. The article includes a detailed examination of the iconography of the building and the innovative use of building services technology designed to protect the remarkable collections that were amassed by Mrs Rylands. Later developments are also treated, including the most recent ‘Unlocking the Rylands’ project, 2000-07.
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DOI 10.7227/BJRL.89.1.3
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