John Rylands Library, Manchester

The John Rylands Library was founded by Enriqueta Rylands in memory of her husband John Rylands, Manchester’s first multi-millionaire and one of the most successful businessmen of Victorian England.

In 1889 the architect Basil Champneys designed the striking gothic building, which took ten years to build and was opened to public readers on 1 January 1900.

Mrs Rylands' memorial to her husband is now part of the University of Manchester and the third largest academic library in the United Kingdom. The Deansgate building houses over 250,000 printed volumes, and well over a million manuscripts and archival items.

It has been acclaimed as one of the finest libraries in the world, and a leading example of neo-Gothic architecture in Europe.