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Architectural Books

Among the Library’s large collection of historic architectural surveys and treatises the following works are particularly noteworthy:

  • At least nine editions of Vitruvius’s De Architectura, the earliest printed in Rome by Georg Herolt in 1486.
  • Sebastiano Serlio’s Regole Generali di Architettura (Venice, 1540).
  • Leon Battista Alberti’s De Re Aedificatoria (Florence, 1485) and its Italian translation, I Dieci Libri de lArchitettura (Venice, 1546).
  • Andrea Palladio’s I Quattro Libri dell Architettura (Venice, 1570).
  • Jan Vredeman de Vries’ Variae Architecturae Formae (Antwerp, 1601).
  • Colen Campbell’s Vitruvius Britannicus; or the British Architect (1715–71).
  • Johannes Kip’s Nouveau Théâtre de la Grande Bretagne (1724–28).
  • Stephen Wren’s study of his grandfather Sir Christopher’s work, Parentalia: or, Memoirs of the Family of the Wrens (1750).
  • Robert Adam’s Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia (1764).
  • Sir John Soane’s Designs in Architecture (1778) and Plans, Elevations and Sections of Buildings Executed in the Counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Yorkshire… (1788).
  • Humphry Repton’s Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening (1794), Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening (1803), and facsimiles of several of his Red Books.
  • Joseph Nash’s The Mansions of England (1839–49).

There are also works which are of interest for studies of landscape history, land use, gardens of the Renaissance and later periods, the development of cities and town planning, public health and sanitation, civic and religious rituals, sepulchral inscriptions and the architecture of death, and concepts of space.

See also the Nigel Temple Collection.

Finding aids

  • Recorded in  .
  • See also H. Guppy and G. Vine, A Classified Catalogue of the Works on Architecture and the Allied Arts in the Principal Libraries of Manchester and Salford (Manchester, 1909).


The John Rylands Library (dispersed)

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library