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The University of Lancaster Ruskin Library was built in 1998. It was designed by the well-known architect Sir Richard MacCormac and acts as a "symbolic gateway or propylaeum to the University". The library houses the Whitehouse Collection which is the largest single collection of material by and relating to John Ruskin (born 1819), who was a leading writer and thinker of the Victorian era. Its position, design and materials used in its construction were carefully chosen to reflect Ruskin's thoughts, themes of his work and to recall Ruskin's fascination of Venetian architecture and the city itself.

The Ruskin Library stands on the site of the former bowling green at the entrance of the university campus. Its exterior is constructed of white concrete blocks with sparkly marble aggregate and has green polished pre-cast concrete bands. The external doors are made of bronze-clad aluminium.
The building's internal layout continues the building design's close association with the life of Ruskin. It contains a number of different rooms including the foyer, Treasury, reading room, archives and galleries. The Treasury contains the library collection and the galleries provide space for the display of the collection of pictures, books, manuscripts and memorabilia, by or relating to Ruskin. The tables and chairs in the Sanctuary were designed by the architect and furniture maker, Jeremy Hall of Peter Hall & Son. The cabinets were originally used to house Ruskin's gift of drawings to Oxford University in 1875 and the pine table is from the original Ruskin Drawing School at Oxford.
The library was designed by Sir Richard MacCormac, of MacCormac Jamieson Prichard, of London. Other works include the Fitzwilliam College Chapel in Cambridge and Southwark Station on the Jubilee Line extension.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.