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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 September, 2003, 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK
Library closes for refit
A library housing one of the earliest pieces of the New Testament threw open its doors over the weekend for the last time for two years.

The Rylands Library in Manchester is due to undergo a major refurbishment, and its closure was timed to coincide with the country's annual Heritage Open Days.

Library staff were dressing in Victorian costume for the day to add to the atmosphere for visitors.

The building, which was built in memory of city cotton merchant John Rylands, will be closed until towards the end of 2005.

It contains the second largest collection of works printed by Caxton, the papers of John and Charles Wesley.

It also houses the St. John's Fragment - from the New Testament - which dates back to 125 AD.

According to the library's website most of its stock will be moved to the main library on Oxford Road during the refurbishment, which will remain available for use on request.

The library was due to open on Sunday between 1300 and 1700 BST before the closure begins.

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