The John Rylands Library is a late-Victorian neo-Gothic building on Deansgate in Manchester, England. The library, which opened to the public in 1900, was founded by Enriqueta Augustina Rylands in memory of her husband, John Rylands. The John Rylands Library and the library of the University of Manchester merged in July 1972 into the John Rylands University Library of Manchester; today it is part of the University of Manchester Library. Special collections built up by both libraries were progressively concentrated in the Deansgate building. The special collections, believed to be among the largest in the United Kingdom, include medieval illuminated manuscripts and examples of early European printing, including a Gutenberg Bible, the second largest collection of printing by William Caxton, and the most extensive collection of the editions of the Aldine Press of Venice. The Rylands Library Papyrus P52 is believed to be the earliest extant New Testament text. The library holds personal papers and letters of notable figures, among them Elizabeth Gaskell and John Dalton.
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