Lancaster University

Ruskin Library


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Ruskin Centre (Lancaster University)
Ruskin for All

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Ruskin Library Exterior

Ruskin Library
Lancaster University

Tel: +44 (0) 1524 593587


Opening times:
Monday-Friday 10am-4pm
during Exhibitions
(closed weekends and Bank Holidays)

Reading Room:
Monday-Friday 10am-4pm
(by appointment only)



Appointments - Arrival - Departure - Catalogue Room - Regulations - Handling books and manuscripts - Ordering Extra Material

Making appointments

If you wish to consult material in the collection, an appointment needs to be made with the Deputy or Assistant Curators. This may be done by phone, letter, e-mail or FAX.

Tel.: 01524 593588 |Fax: 01524 593580

Letter: Rebecca Patterson, Deputy Curator, Ruskin Library, Lancaster University, LANCASTER, LA1 4YH
Diane Tyler, Assistant Curator, Ruskin Library, Lancaster University, LANCASTER, LA1 4YH

Please consult the Catalogue and the Manuscript list before making your appointment as you will be asked what items you would like to see on your visit - this information may also help the Curators to find other items which may be of interest to you. Regulations stipulate that (under normal circumstances) the invigilator cannot leave the Reading Room while Readers are present, so the Curators need to know as accurately as possible what you require.

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The Reading Room is open from 10am - 4:30pm - lunchtime opening is dependent on the availability of a Curator. If the Curator is unavailable, hours of 10am - 12.30pm and 2pm - 4.30pm will apply

  • When you arrive please sign the Reading Room Visitors' Book at Reception. Hand in any bags (except handbags, wallets and purses containing money and other valuables) and bulky coats you may have - see the Reading Room Regulations for a list of items which must be left at Reception. Mobile phones must be switched off whilst in the Ruskin Library.

  • You may sit at any of the eight seats in the Reading Room : each has a lamp, and a power point for lap-tops

  • The items you asked to see when making your appointment will be brought to the Reading Room prior to your arrival, and will be given to you by the invigilator

  • At any one time you may consult: - 1 box of letters; or 2 manuscripts (and transcripts); or up to 3 books; or 1 manuscript and 1 box of letters; or 1 manuscript and 3 books; or 1 box of letters and 3 books

  • Other items will be kept by the invigilator until you need them

  • You may use any of the Reference material in the Reading Room in conjunction with ordered material

  • You will find Request slips inserted in the items you have ordered. Please sign each slip and return it to the invigilator as you finish with the material

  • Ordering Extra Material

  • If you wish to consult the material on the following day, please inform the invigilator

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  • Items may be left on the tables during short absences

  • Lunch: All items will be collected by the invigilator at 12:30pm and returned at 2pm

  • Before final departure please return all items with signed slips to the Invigilator

  • Sign out and collect your belongings from reception

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Catalogue Room

The Catalogue Room has recently been reorganised, and now houses:

Computer No. 1:

This contains reference material relating to John Ruskin:

  • John Ruskin's diaries 1835 to 1886
  • John Ruskin's letters to Joan Severn 1864 to about 1895 plus some miscellaneous letters
  • John Ruskin's Notebooks and Worksheets
  • John Ruskin's family tree
  • Ruskin Library Catalogue
  • The Works of John Ruskin on CD - wordsearchable
  • Lucca Slide Show
  • Picture Book
  • Miscellaneous newspaper cuttings database
  • Access to the Ruskin Library website

Computer No 2:

This computer is for the use of Readers with a Lancaster University Login so they may access the internet and their email: it is not intended for prolonged periods of computer work. Visiting scholars can apply for a login on a form available from Ruskin Library staff. Readers using this machine are asked to be considerate of other users, as this is the only method of email access currently available in the Ruskin Library.

Microfilm machine and printer:

Microfilms available include:

  • John Ruskin's Diaries 1835 to 1888
  • John Ruskin's correspondence with Joan Severn 1864 to 1899
  • John Ruskin, The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and Arts and Crafts Movement
    • Part One: The Ruskin, Holman Hunt, Fairfax Murray, Spielmann and related collections from The John Rylands University Library, Manchester.
    • Part Two: Spielmann Collection, miscellaneous papers and letters, and the Manchester Art Gallery Collection
Ruskin Library Catalogue Room

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Reading Room Regulations

  • The Reading Room may be used by appointment only (Monday to Friday, 10am - 4:30pm)

  • Prospective readers from outside the University may be asked to supply references; proof of identity may be requested

  • Coats, umbrellas, briefcases, backpacks and bags other than handbags may not be brought into the Reading Room - they will be stored in secure lockers

  • Material brought by readers into the Reading Room (e.g. books, journals, and writing paper, may be inspected on departure

  • Readers must sign the Ruskin Library readers' book

  • Readers will normally be allowed three items at any one time, on completion of the appropriate slips. The fetching of material during the day will be subject to the availability of staff.

  • Items must be returned to the invigilator if the reader is absent for any length of time (e.g. over lunch)

  • Books and manuscripts may not be removed from the Reading Room

  • The use of laptop computers is allowed: please try not to disturb other readers

  • Photography and self-service photocopying are not permitted. It may be possible for Ruskin Library staff to photocopy or scan items on your behalf, but it should be noted that this is entirely at the discretion of the Curator.

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Handling of books and manuscripts

  • Hands should be clean, please

  • Pencils must be used for writing when in the Reading Room - please ask if you do not have one with you. Pens and ink are not permitted in the Reading Room

  • Please do not mark books and manuscripts

  • Please do not rest writing paper on books or manuscripts

  • If book marks are needed, please ask for them

  • If uncut pages need opening, please ask for a paper knife

  • If pages stick together, separate them by blowing lightly between them

  • Please do not force open a tight binding

  • Pages should be turned from the top

  • When using a book support, please do not handle the book except to turn the pages

  • Any damage to a book or manuscript should be reported immediately

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Ordering Extra Material

Unlike some limited access libraries, we are not able to retrieve books from the archives immediately on request. No material can be retrieved from the archive during a session except in special circumstances. For your first visit to the Reading Room you will have agreed items to consult with a Curator. However you may find items in the catalogue, or references to other material which you would like to see.

Hand the completed slips to the Invigilator by 12noon, or 4pm so that the material can be made available for the next session. Special arrangements may be made for those on brief visits needing to refer to a particular item.

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Ruskin Library Web Pages created and maintained by Jen Shepherd

All images and text (c)The Ruskin Library, unless otherwise stated.

(c) 2006-