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Project overview

Vision for the Next Chapter project

The John Rylands Next Chapter project will enable The University of Manchester Library to deliver its ambitions to nurture and support outstanding research and innovative public engagement with research at the John Rylands Research Institute and Library.

It will enrich and transform the researcher and visitor experience through new exhibition facilities and redesigned spaces for research, teaching and learning, and public engagement.

The Rylands Next Chapter project was initiated in 2021, almost 15 years after the completion of the Unlocking the Rylands project. It is intended to prepare the Rylands for the challenges and opportunities of the mid-21st century.


  • To put the Rylands at the heart of the University - research, student experience, public engagement with research – and help to deliver the Library’s Imagine2030 vision.
  • To transform our exhibition spaces, so that visitors can engage with outstanding items from our collections.
  • To upscale our imaging capacity via a state-of-the-art Advanced Imaging Laboratory.
  • To enhance our facilities to host academic and public events.
  • To refresh the modern entrance.
  • To make better use of spaces within the building, including revitalising the cellars as a new learning and engagement space.
  • To upgrade security systems, power and data.
  • To improve working environments for Library staff.