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Recent history

Unlocking the Rylands

Between 2003 and 2007, the Deansgate building underwent major refurbishment. A new entrance wing was built providing a range of visitor facilities including lift access to the Historic Reading Room, cafe, shop and toilets.

Readers can now consult rare books, manuscripts and archives in the splendid surrounding of the new Special Materials Reading Room on Level 04 of the Entrance Wing.

The historic building underwent major conservation work including the replacement of over 8000 glass roundels in the windows and the construction of a new pitched roof over the Historic Reading Room.

New exhibition galleries were created on the Ground Floor of the historic building.

The project cost over £17 million. The Heritage Lottery Fund was a major stakeholder, providing almost £8.5 million. The European Regional Development Fund provided £3 million. Many others provided the essential partnership funding without which this important project would not have been possible.

We are grateful to all our donors.