The Ruskin Whitehouse Collection contains thousands of paintings and drawings, books and manuscripts, prints and photographs. Formed by the educationalist and Liberal MP, John Howard Whitehouse (1873–1955), it is the largest collection of materials relating to John Ruskin (1819–1900) and his circle.
Among the more than 8,000 manuscripts in the Collection are the 29 volumes of Ruskin’s diaries (1835–1888), of which only a selected edition has been published. Alongside these manuscripts are some 7,400 letters, which include both correspondence with family and friends, and with many leading political and cultural figures of the Victorian age. There are 1,500 drawings and 500 prints in the Collection. In addition to a large number of photographs, there are 125 daguerreotypes, including some of the earliest known images of Venice and the Alps, dating from the 1850s. In addition to hundreds of books from Ruskin’s own library, the Collection includes a complete holding of books about Ruskin as well as an archive of transcripts, articles and cuttings.
These materials reflect Ruskin’s multimedia interests. A 360° view of the origins of Ruskin’s thinking and Victorian life, literature and art, The Ruskin Whitehouse Collection is also a springboard for exploring the social, cultural and environmental issues of today and tomorrow.