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Director of John Rylands Research Institute appointed

Professor Peter Pormann, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, has been appointed founding Director of the John Rylands Research Institute (JRRI), a unique partnership between the Faculty and the University Library.

This new Institute will combine the skills, knowledge and professional activities of academic and Library staff, improving access to, and knowledge of, the Library’s special collections. Designated by Arts Council England as of outstanding national and international importance, the Library’s collections contain significant research potential which is currently under-exploited.

Working closely with Rachel Beckett, Head of Special Collections and Associate Director of The John Rylands Library, Professor Pormann will take the lead in creating an internationally renowned centre combining front line research with international collaborative ventures and public facing community engagement and knowledge transfer.

Professor Keith Brown, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities said:

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the University Library to establish what we believe will become an internationally renowned research centre. The John Rylands Research Institute is an exciting new venture for the Faculty of Humanities and I would like to congratulate Peter Pormann as he takes up the role of founding Academic Director.”

Jan Wilkinson, University Librarian and Director of The John Rylands Library said:

“We are very excited about this important new collaboration. The John Rylands Research Institute offers a unique opportunity for scholars and curators to explore the rich resources of our world-leading special collections. The development of new research projects will benefit both the Library and the Faculty of Humanities and also raise the profile of the University globally. We look forward to working closely with Peter Pormann and other Faculty colleagues in promoting our special collections to the international research community.”

Professor Pormann said:

“I am looking forward to making good use of my expertise in both form and content of the collections. I will build on my previous successes in attracting external funding, ensuring the establishment of the John Rylands Research Institute as a focal point for the capture of externally generated humanities research income and philanthropic donation.

“I am excited at the prospect of working with Library colleagues and setting up international collaborations, and thrilled that this is in the context of our special collections, which are a truly world-class asset to The University of Manchester. Together with colleagues from within Manchester and beyond, I hope to find new ways to explore them, and to showcase our findings to the wider community.”

Professor Pormann joined the University in February 2012, from the University of Warwick, having studied at the Universities of Hamburg, Tübingen, Leiden, and Oxford. He is Professor of Classics and Graeco-Arabic Studies.

The two year position has received pump-priming support from the University, the Library, the Faculty of Humanities and the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures.

Updated: Wed, Apr 17, 2013