Our Library

Our library is a major resource in the field of Indigenous Australian art and culture. Numerous scholars have traveled from Australia and elsewhere to conduct research at Kluge-Ruhe.

Kluge-Ruhe Library and Archive.

Laura Bendick and Gauri Prakash do research in the Kluge-Ruhe Library and Archive as part of the Young Art Historians program.

Kluge-Ruhe Classroom.

An Edward Ruhe artist card.

About our books

The Kluge-Ruhe Library contains over 1,500 books, periodicals, exhibition and auction catalogues, and audio and video recordings.

Several of our Library holdings are rare, and may be the only copies that exist in the United States. Some were collected by Edward L. Ruhe (1923 – 1989); others were acquired by John Kluge or by the museum after it opened in 1999.

The library is generally open and accessible to the University and public communities during Kluge-Ruhe’s public hours, but we appreciate notice from those wishing to spend significant time conducting research so that we can help you.

Click here to search the library holdings.

About the Ruhe archive

The Kluge-Ruhe Archive consists of research materials assembled by Professor Edward L. Ruhe. When Ruhe first went to Australia as a Fulbright Visiting Professor in 1965, he started collecting books and ephemera related to Aboriginal art. From this time forward, he corresponded with leading museum curators, anthropologists and collectors around the world who shared his interest in Aboriginal art, accruing more than 1,700 pieces of correspondence.

One of Ruhe’s primary aims was to give well-deserved and long overdue artistic recognition to Aboriginal artists. To this end, he created an index that includes biographical data for more than 500 Aboriginal artists, including genealogical information and lists of exhibitions and publications.

Ruhe also promoted public awareness of Aboriginal artists and their works by exhibiting portions of his collection in locations around the United States from 1966 to 1977.

Access to the Ruhe archive holdings is by appointment only. To make an appointment, please call the museum at 434-243-8500 or contact Collections Manager and Registrar Nicole Wade at anw9s@virginia.edu.