Ruskin's Ca D'Oro


Research Centre

The new Ruskin Research Centre, based in the Museum, led by Professor Sandra Kemp, was launched in March 2019, following the purchase of the Collection, generously funded by the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Friends of the National Libraries, Art Fund and others. From art history to artificial intelligence, the Research Centre generates new perspectives on Ruskin’s works and legacy. Centered in the Collection, our research contributes new knowledge and understanding of the challenges of today and tomorrow.

The Ruskin – Museum & Research Centre is home to the leading collection of works by the epoch-defining writer, artist and social thinker John Ruskin (1819-1900). From our iconic building at the gateway to Lancaster University and from Brantwood, Ruskin’s home at Coniston, we combine research, teaching and learning and enterprise, both within and beyond academia. Our partners value us for interdisciplinary research based in our unique collections combined with access to LU’s world-leading practice in digital humanities, data, environmental and material science.

As with other research centres based in accredited university museums, the hallmark of The Ruskin’s Research Centre is research produced through the Collection and across interdisciplinary research fields thematically linked to the collection. Ruskin was a polymath. The Ruskin Whitehouse Collection embraces art, architecture, and the environment but much more. There are over 15,000 items in the collection, along with a library including Ruskin’s own collection and a complete repository of critical writing on Ruskin. Paintings and drawings, photographs and daguerreotypes, letters, manuscripts and books are displayed at The Ruskin and at Brantwood, Ruskin’s former home in the Lake District. In 2019, after an absence of nearly a century, Ruskin’s personal collection of over 2,000 museum-quality mineral specimens returned to Brantwood as part of the museum’s collection.

Collection-Based Research

  • adding to knowledge and understanding of the collection and to develop research-led programmes;
  • digitising and making the collection interoperable with other collections through enhanced metadata;
  • understanding more about the collection (media, preservation) through conservation

Cross-Cutting Research

  • Culture
  • Heritage (Natural, Future, Digital)
  • Environment

We work with academics across all stages of their careers to support collaborative research projects; research students and research fellows (internal and external, from early-career to emeritus) and research residencies, in partnership with practitioners, policymakers, public and private sector organisations. Since its inception in 2017 and launch in 2019, the Centre has raised more the £8m and has played an ever more crucial role in LU’s mission to ‘become a globally significant university, driven by research, teaching and learning that engages locally and internationally on the issues and debates of the day and future.’

Rooted in the local and regional communities, the Centre is integrated with The Ruskin’s international public-facing programme, producing ‘live’ research through exhibitions, events, publications, engagement and digital activities.

We welcome ideas for projects and partnerships - email Anyone with an interest in our Collection can apply to visit The Ruskin as a Reader. Other Research Centre activities include The Ruskin Review, and Ruskin Seminar Series. On our website, you can explore the Collection by theme, search our catalogue, and engage with digital archive materials.

Explore our live research projects below, from machine learning and the archive; to natural, cultural and future heritage; to using Ruskin’s Lecture Diagrams and Manuscript Letters to test cutting-edge techniques for digitising and conserving collections.

Research Ruskin Logos

Research Projects & Exhibitions Under Development

If one of these projects sparks your interest, or you would like to support us, contact us on

Live Research Projects

Research Projects 2019