ANN Dec 5, 2002

Digitising Ruskin Collection (Ashmolean Oxford)

Rupert Shepherd

museum.oxford.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 04 Dec 2002 12:02:57 +0000
Subject: Digitising Ruskin

Digitising the Ruskin Teaching Collection at the
Ashmolean Museum

Work has begun at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, on the digitisation of
the Ruskin Teaching Collection. During his time as Slade Professor of
Fine Art at the University of Oxford (1869-79 and 1883-5), John Ruskin
assembled a collection of exemplary works to use as aids to the
teaching of drawing in the classes he established at the University.
The Ruskin Teaching Collection comprises watercolours, drawings,
prints and photographs by old masters, Ruskin himself, his assistants
and his friends and contemporaries, and is currently preserved in the
Ashmolean Museum. The collection, organised into different series
according to the objects' roles in Ruskin's schemes of instruction,
was described by Ruskin himself in several published and manuscript
catalogues produced whilst he was Slade Professor. The different
editions of the catalogues reflect the arrangement of the collection -
which was continuously changing - at certain fixed points.

Funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board's Resource
Enhancement Scheme has allowed work to begin on digitising the
collection, Ruskin's catalogues, and the Ashmolean's catalogue
information on the objects. This material will be made available on
the web using an interface which allows it to be browsed and searched.
A copy of the images and data will also be deposited with the Visual
Arts Data Service. The opportunities provided by digital technology
should allow for the collection to be reconstructed virtually
according to the different catalogues - something that has not been
possible until now.

Work is now underway on the collation of Ruskin's catalogues with the
collection as it now stands. Once this is complete, a pilot phase of
the project will take a trial set of objects, digitise them and their
accompanying information, and use this material to create a prototype
system; the lessons learnt from the pilot phase will inform the
digitisation of the main body of material. We expect the pilot phase
to be completed by the end of summer 2003; the project as a whole will
be completed by the end of October 2004.

The project represents a collaboration between the Ashmolean Museum,
Oxford University Computing Service's Learning Technologies Group, and
the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. It is advised by a steering
committee representing the interested parties and notable Ruskin
scholars.

For further details of the project, please consult the project's
homepage at <http://www.ashmol.ox.ac.uk/ash/amulets/ruskin/>, or
contact the project manager, Dr Rupert Shepherd, at: Department of
Western Art Ashmolean Museum Beaumont Street Oxford OX1 2PH U.K.

T: +44 (0)1865 278050
F: +44 (0)1865 278056
E: rupert.shepherdashmus.ox.ac.uk

Reference:
ANN: Digitising Ruskin Collection (Ashmolean Oxford). In: ArtHist.net, Dec 5, 2002 (accessed Jun 19, 2024), <https://arthist.net/archive/25381>.

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