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June 2016

John Rylands Research Institute welcomes a new Academic Director

(5 June 2016)

Professor of British History, Hannah Barker, has been appointed as the new Academic Director for the John Rylands Research Institute (JRRI).

The Institute, which was founded in 2013, is a partnership between The University of Manchester Library and the Faculty of Humanities. It brings together doctoral students, academics and library professionals to collaborate in taking research into new and unchartered territories using Special Collections of books, manuscripts and artefacts which are designated as of outstanding national and international importance by the Arts Council England. Deputy Dean and Associate Dean for Research, Professor Colette Fagan, said:  “The John Rylands Research Institute is at an exciting stage in its development. I am confident that this new appointment will build upon the excellent portfolio of externally funded research, postgraduate and postdoctoral research opportunities, visiting international academics and associated events which has been initiated by the founding Academic Director, Professor Peter Pormann.”

University Librarian, Jan Wilkinson, said: "I very much welcome Hannah's appointment as Academic Director, and look forward to working with her to continue to develop the important work of this Institute. Through this unique partnership of Library and Faculty, we will unite the knowledge and expertise of colleagues in Manchester and beyond to realise our stunning collections for research, learning, inspiration and pleasure.”

Outgoing Director, Professor Peter Pormann, said: “The John Rylands Research Institute has gone from strength to strength over the last three years since its foundation. Hannah’s appointment brings a wealth of experience, dynamism, and strong research and engagement record to the role. Under her leadership, the Institute will flourish in new and innovative ways, and I wish her all the best.”

Professor Hannah Barker is looking forward to the opportunity: “I'm very excited about my new role with the John Rylands Research Institute. As a child I wanted to live in a library when I grew up, so working in one is surely the next best thing.”

Hannah will take up her post from 1 September for a period of three years.



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