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Last Updated: Monday, 14 May 2007, 18:45 GMT 19:45 UK
Library reveals a 17m facelift
John Rylands Library - pic from MEN Syndication
The library has over 600,000 rare books and manuscripts
A library which houses one of the country's greatest collections of printed books, manuscripts and archives has re-opened after a 17m revamp.

The John Rylands Library in Manchester was built in memory of a cotton magnate and is described as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.

The Grade I listed library was closed for three years to repair problems created by pollution and weather.

It houses many treasures including rare fragments from the New Testament bible.

The library opened to the public on 1 January 1900 and was also one of the first buildings in Manchester to have electricity.

Medieval manuscripts and over 600,000 rare books are available for visitors to view including the St John Fragment, the earliest known portion of the New Testament in existence.

About 8000 damaged glass roundels in the windows have been replaced and the two magnificent stained glass windows in the historic Reading Room have been cleaned and repaired.

The renovation project has created a purpose-built new reading room, a conservation studio and state of the art storage areas for the collections.

Inside the refurbished library

Library closes for refit
13 Sep 03 |  Manchester

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