The Works of John Ruskin. Library Edition: 39 Volumes, (1903-1912), edited by E.T Cook and A. Wedderburn. The edition was the outcome of twelve years work by Edward Tyas Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, although Cook completed the bulk of the editing. The aim of The Library Edition was to provide the complete works of Ruskin, both literary and artistic, in uniform volumes. The edition was undertaken by Messrs. George Allen, Ruskin's publishers. Illustrated by 820 wood blocks and 990 full-page plates with 120 facsimiles of MSS., the edition includes 269 plates of Ruskin's own drawings of which 200 had never before been published. Portraits of Ruskin are used as frontispieces to some of the volumes. The press work was carried out by Messrs. Ballantyne of Edinburgh, and the weight of type amounted to nine tons, whilst the printing ink weighed 1800lbs. Printed on hand-made, linen rag paper (about 87tons) with a double watermark of Ruskin's monogram and seal. The edition consisted of 2062 sets, of which 2000 were available for sale to subscribers for the full set. The first volume was published on 27 March 1903. George Allen did not live to see the completion of the edition dying on 5 September 1907, his children taking over the firm. Prior to the publication of The Library Edition there had been an official publication known as the Works Series published between 1871 and 1880 also by George Allen, however, the edition only included eleven volumes. The American publisher John Wiley published an incomplete pirated series, whilst Charles E. Merrill & Co in association with George Allen published The Brantwood Edition, of twenty two volumes with introductions by Ruskin's friend Charles Eliot Norton. (See, Dearden, History of the Library Edition, pp. 1-16).
Cook and Wedderburn provide the standard reference work for Ruskin studies. All quotations within this Electronic Edition which are drawn from from the Library Edition of The Works of John Ruskin are expressed in terms of volume and page number thus: ( Works, 3.100).