A magnificent building with a neo-gothic style found in the area of Deansgate in central Manchester, may be considered to act as the parliament building, a palace, a museum or even a church, but in fact the building was a library. John Rylands Library, the library name, is a building dedicated to the memory of John Rylands, a businessman and one of the richest people in Manchester.
This library is now part of the University of Manchester and is known by the official name of John Rylands University Library of Manchester. Construction of the library was inspired by the achievements and success of the John Rylands, a humble who later became one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the UK. John Ryland was born in 1801 in St Helen’s, Lancashire as the third child of Joseph and Elizabeth Rylands.
Since childhood, he has shown interest in becoming an entrepreneur. At the age of 18, he and his two sisters and his father built a textile factory called Rylands & Son. Despite being the youngest, but John Rylands is the person most important role in promoting the plant.
In 1823, Rylands then decided to develop itself by opening his own factory in the city of Manchester, the center of economy and industry. In the city where the business is growing rapidly and making it one of the most successful entrepreneurs. His factory became the largest textile factory across the UK, making himself into the richest man in the city of Manchester.
With assets held, John Rylands is known as a philanthropist who likes to provide assistance to charities, orphanages, nursing homes, schools or other public facilities construction. He died in 1888 at the age of 87 years and was buried in Southern Cemetery, Manchester. He bequeathed his fortune to his third wife is Enriqueta Augustina whom he married in 1875.
To commemorate her husband, Enriqueta then bought an area in Deansgate and establish libraries as a memorial to the memory of her husband. She commissioned architect Basil Champneys to design the building. After the draft of Champneys approved, the construction of the library building was started in 1890. During the construction of walking, Mrs Rylandsis also constantly trying to find collections as filler library. Finally, the construction of the library building was completed in 1899 and was inaugurated by the name of John Rylands Library.
However, the library recently opened to the public on January 1, 1900. John Rylands Library built in the shape of the building resembles a church with an architecture with neo-gothic style and detail decoration with Arts and Crafts style. The exterior of the building is formed using a dark red stone Barbary built with structural steel.
The architectural grandeur of the exterior is the beginning of the architectural beauty of the interior in its chambers. One room with the most beautiful interior design is the main reading room is located on the third floor. The room is decorated with two pieces of stained glass with a portrait symbolizing religious and secular figures, the work of C.E Kempe.
Some statues also decorate the room, between the statue is a statue of John Rylands and Enriqueta Rylands which is the work of John Cassidy. Besides the beauty of the interior design, this room also has a good enough technology such as lighting and air circulation to bring the atmosphere of a comfortable and enjoyable read.
One of the main and most important factor of a library is a collection of books, manuscripts and literature has. The initial collection of the library is Spencer’s Collection, which amounts reached 43,000 items, including the 4000 books from the year 1500 as well as a number of important gospel collection.
The collection grew in 1901 when Mrs Rylands buysthe collections belonging to the “26th Earls of Crawford”. The library collection is getting bigger when Enriqueta Rylands died in 1908 and bequeathed a large number of funds to develop the library collection.
Due to the growing collection, and the library was the renovation and expansion of the building, especially when John Rylands Library merged with the library belonging to the University of Manchester in 1972. Since then the addition of the university’s collection of literature focused on this library.
The gallery shows the story and history of the library, and rooms for temporary exhibitions with collections that are always changing. Other supporting facilities such as shops and cafes are also available in the library to support the convenience of visitors. John Rylands Library has a collection of interesting literature can be read in the reading room is beautiful.
For those who love books and love to read, then the library will become one of the favorite places that delight.
Operational hour :
Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 to 17:00
Sunday – Monday: 12:00 to 17:00
Address: 150 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0) 161 306 0555