Set up by Mrs E. A. Rylands in memory of her husband, and opened in 1900, the Library is in the custody of the University of Manchester. The collection started with the purchase of the famous Althorp library of Earl Spencer, containing 40 000 volumes. It has a considerable manuscript collection, including a wide range of charters and deeds, manorial records, and family muniments, particularly those of the landed families of Cheshire and Greater Manchester. See Peter McNiven and Dorothy Clayton, ‘The John Rylands University Library of Manchester: A Resource for the Local Historian’, Local Historian, 19/2 (1989).
http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk John Rylands Library.