Support the John Rylands Research Institute

“Our unique collections allow us to research societies and cultures across the globe over five thousand years to explain what it means to be human.”

Professor Hannah Barker, Director of the John Rylands Research Institute and Professor of British History. 

Your support can help us to achieve our vision of making the Library’s world-renowned Special Collections fully accessible to researchers and wider communities, and to reveal the unique cultural significance of these ‘hidden gems’. 

Victorian philanthropist Enriqueta Rylands built the Library, in memory of her late husband John, with a pioneering intention to make accessible a collection of international significance. Today’s philanthropists have a key role to play in enabling us to reveal and interpret the lost knowledge contained within our collections and help us nurture the research leaders of the future. 

These collections contain many fragile manuscripts that urgently require special attention to catalogue, digitise, conserve and study them, to ensure their long-term preservation and use. This vital work will transform academic and public understanding of the cultures, communities and religions represented in the collections. 

We are grateful for the generosity of all the individuals and trusts who have supported the John Rylands Research Institute since it launched in 2013. In particular, we would like to recognise publicly: 

  • Dr David Shreeve who has supported a three-year programme of cataloguing and research into the Medical Archives at The University of Manchester, and is currently supporting a three-year fellowship for a promising early career researcher.
  • The Towneley Family for their support of young researchers through a three-year programme of master's scholarships for the MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies.
  • Mark Younger for his support of a PhD scholarship conducting research into the collections at The John Rylands Library.
  • The Soudavar Memorial Foundation, Iran Heritage Foundation and the British Institute of Persian Studies for helping us to begin the essential task of cataloguing, conserving and digitising the Persian manuscripts collection.
  • An anonymous Foundation and numerous individual donors who have supported our work to begin to present a complete picture of the extraordinary wealth of historical manuscript and printed materials in Hebrew and related scripts.

We are deeply grateful for the significant support from our generous donors to date, and reach out to philanthropists and trusts to help us complete the important work to make the full collections accessible to all, and to safeguard the careers of young academics.  

In order to continue this exciting journey of discovery through the worlds of knowledge and beauty hidden in The John Rylands Library, we need your support. Our director Professor Hannah Barker would welcome a personal conversation with you to explore how your philanthropy to The John Rylands Research Institute could have a significant impact in unlocking the Library’s Special Collections, launching the careers of new and promising researchers, and advancing our knowledge of the world around us. 

To learn more about the impact of gifts at all levels, our vision and priorities, and to discuss how your support can accelerate our progress, please get in touch with Ruth Ellul (email or call +44 (0)161 306 3619).