Group visits

The John Rylands Library Research Institute and Library is happy to accommodate group visits.

Before bringing a group to the John Rylands Library Research Institute and Library, please familiarise yourself with the following guidelines. 

If your group consists of 12 or more people:

Please note: This is a provisional booking and a member of our team will contact you to confirm your booking slot.


When to visit

Please note that the Library experiences busy periods each day so we may not be able to accommodate your group at your preferred time.

  • We do not book groups in on Saturdays. This is because it is our busiest day of the week.

Group entry guidelines

We expect all groups to treat the building, collections, staff and other users with respect.

We care about your experience in the Library and if you have any questions or suggestions please speak to us during your visit.  You can also contact us ahead of your visit:

Can I have a tour guide?

We can’t provide guided tours for groups. However, staff at the welcome desk and within the Library are happy to answer any questions throughout your visit.

Can we visit at any time?

We may not be able to accommodate you at your preferred time due to existing commitments (eg. school visits, filming, public events).

However, we can recommend alternative dates and times if your preferred time isn’t available.

Can we bring food into the building?

No. As the Library is Grade 1 listed and has collections within public spaces, we ask that food and drink isn’t taken into the historic building.

Is there a maximum group size?

We can accommodate up to 30 participants and five support staff per group. These groups must book in advance through our group booking request form.

I’m charging participants of my group, is this ok?

Entry and all activities at the Library are free of charge.

We ask that you are clear with your group members that the Library will not charge them for entry, and that you do not collect payment within the building.

Please do not invite visitors to join in with your paid tour or activity.

Are there any considerations for groups as it is a working Library?

Some visitors come to use the Historic Reading Room for private study. Please be mindful of this during your visit.

The Library isn’t a large building so please be mindful of other visitors and Library-led events in particular pinch points. These include staircases, by entrances and by key features (e.g. statues and printing presses).

Can we take photographs within the building?

Photography is permitted however we do not allow tripods or flash photography in the building.

Do I have to supervise my group?

Yes. The John Rylands Library Research Institute and Library is a public place and it is a condition of booking that group leaders remain with their group at all times to supervise them.