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Harry Jelley in our Engagement Team writes:

The John Rylands Library holds many treasures that map the development of science throughout the world: from 18th-century Japanese botanical albums, through James Audubon’s Birds of America, to the laboratory notebooks of Professor Sir Konstantin Novoselov, recording the development of Graphene right here in Manchester in the 21st century.

Some of our most gruesome images come from anatomy texts such as Vesalius’s Anatomia (1604), and in some of the diaries and letters in our collection we can trace public spectacles, such as Lunardi’s hot air balloon ascent in Mary Hamilton’s diary. We could endlessly list the wonderful things we have, but it wouldn’t be all that exciting for you, which is why we want you to get involved.

Andreas Vesalius, Anatomia (Venice, 1604), p. 153. Pre-1701 Medical Printed Collection, 2498.

Andreas Vesalius, Anatomia (Venice, 1604), p. 153. Pre-1701 Medical Printed Collection, 2498.

For Manchester Science Festival, we want to find out, once and for all, who is everyone’s favourite Manchester scientist! We’ve come up with five major figures in Mancunian scientific history for you to choose from: Bernard Lovell, Alan Turing, Joseph Whitworth, James Joule and John Dalton. All of them live on in our collections, in books, images and archive documents. To take the title of everyone’s favourite Manchester scientist, they need your votes. So head to the voting page to find out more about each of these great Manchester scientists and support your favourite (or head to the bottom of this post to cast your vote directly).

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To help you decide, come along to The John Rylands Library on 30 October, between 12noon and 2pm, to discover highlights from our scientific collections and learn more about the stories behind them. We’ll be showcasing items relating to the top front-running scientists as voted by you, plus there’ll be an opportunity to add to the voting on the day.

If you’re excited as we are about our Manchester Science Festival exhibitions and events, you can also join us on 29 October, our Thursday Late, for a unique opportunity to meet the Manchester-based artist behind our Noisy Bodies exhibition, Daksha Patel.

Let us know who you’ve voted for – and why – by tweeting us @TheJohnRylands.