Riches of the Rylands

The Special Collections of The University of Manchester Library

By Jan Wilkinson

Riches of the Rylands

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9635-8
  • Pages: 320
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £25.00
  • Published Date: November 2014
  • BIC Category: Reference, information & interdisciplinary subjects / Acquisitions & collection development, Reference, Encyclopaedias & reference works, Acquisitions & collection development, ART / Museum Studies, REFERENCE / General, Reference, information & interdisciplinary subjects / Museology & heritage studies


Riches of the Rylands explores and celebrates the outstanding Special Collections of The University of Manchester Library.

These collections of rare books, manuscripts, archives, maps and visual materials are extraordinarily rich and diverse. They span 5,000 years and six continents, and include almost every format ever used for written communication. Many derive from the superlative collections purchased by Enriqueta Rylands for the magnificent library she founded as a memorial to her husband John.

The book features over 150 key items from across the collections. Thirteen thematic chapters contain short essays on individual items by over sixty contributors - curators and experts in particular fields. Every item is beautifully illustrated in full colour and an extended introduction charts the history and context of the collections.

Riches of the Rylands will appeal to a broad readership - lovers of books and libraries, and anyone interested in literature, art, history, the history of ideas and collecting.


Riches of the Rylands is a sumptuous production, even by the high standards of the usual glossy coffee-table treasures volume. It features over 140 lavishly illustrated items, described briefly by eighty contributors, in thirteen sections.


Foreword - Jan Wilkinson
Introduction - John R. Hodgson
1. Beyond books: from papyrus to pixels - Stella K. Halkyard
2. Through painted windows: the art of illumination - John R. Hodgson
3. First impressions: the early years of European printing - Julianne Simpson
4. Master binders and their craft - Caroline Checkley-Scott and John R. Hodgson
5. 'A definite claim to beauty': the private presses - John R. Hodgson
6. Envisioning space: maps and atlases - Donna M. Sherman
7. 'Lively oracles of God': The Bible from antiquity to modernity - Elizabeth Gow
8. 'So many paths': religious traditions across the world - Elizabeth Gow
9. 'On the shoulders of giants': science, technology and medicine - James N. Peters, Julianne Simpson and Janet L. Wallwork
10. 'Between the covers': a literary miscellany - Fran Baker
11. Illustrated imaginative children's literature - Ian Rogerson
12. Power, politics and propaganda: the story of Britain from 1215 - Dorothy J. Clayton
13. Manchester: local connections - Julie Ramwell

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout