About the John Rylands Research Institute

At The John Rylands Research Institute we work with researchers in the humanities and the sciences to explore human experience and culture, across the globe, over the last 5,000 years, examining arts and literature, religious faith and politics, and economic systems, trade and communications.

Based at The John Rylands Library in Manchester, we examine these themes through the fantastically rich and varied sources of the University of Manchester Library’s Special Collections. These are written in hundreds of languages and on virtually every medium - from papyrus to pixels. We hold some of the most significant printed books and manuscripts ever produced alongside unique archive collections. Our mission is to open up our Special Collections to innovative and multidisciplinary research, and to communicate their stories to wider audiences.  

Our research incorporates new approaches in digital humanities and scientific techniques in the study of heritage materials. We collaborate with world-leading academics while nurturing the next generation of scholars through our support for MA and PhD students, and by supporting and mentoring postdoctoral fellows at the start of their academic careers. In this way we have created a dynamic community of world-leading researchers at The John Rylands Institute, all focused on our core mission to define the human experience over five millennia.