Arts and Culture

Manchester’s hidden Hogwarts: the John Rylands Library

A library in Manchester has caused a storm on social media as Harry Potter fans urge to live out their Hogwarts dreams.

The John Rylands Research Institute and Library on Deansgate has been a Mancunian staple since 1900, but now the ‘Potterheads’ have discovered it, they’re obsessed.

Numerous TikToks have been posted comparing the two buildings, with the Life in Manchester account posting a video that gained more than 25,000 likes.

The comments were flooded with users tagging others to plan trips to the Mancunian landmark.

Another TikToker posted a video captioned: “This is your chance to visit John Rylands library in Manchester and pretend you’re at Hogwarts.”

It isn’t just Harry Potter that links the library to the entertainment industry, as it has featured in 2016’s horror film The Limehouse Golem, along with Foyle’s War and Peaky Blinders.

Behind what’s trending, the library has an interesting past: Enriquetta Augustina Rylands founded the library as a memorial to her husband John Rylands, who passed away in 1888.

Since 1972, however, the Neo-Gothic library has been owned by the University of Manchester, hosting special collections and exhibitions.

Remaining close to its roots, the library’s website says: “We also promote the use and enjoyment of the collections by diverse audiences, in fulfilment of the vision of Enriqueta Rylands.

“The Rylands acts as a catalyst and focus for the world leading research of the University, helping to draw the best minds to Manchester and establishing it as one of the great centres for the study of textual, material and visual cultures.”

Right now the library are hosting the British Pop Archive exhibition, along with Transitions in Print.

The library is open to the public and free to visit from Wednesday to Saturday.

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