Anglia Ruskin relives its history through the decades

Published: 8 September 2008 at 13:07

150th Anniversary Exhibition will bring the past back to life

Anglia Ruskin University will be illustrating the past 150 years of its existence as a higher education institution, serving people from the East of England, with an exhibition which charts its progress over the decades.

The University Library, Cambridge, will be the venue for the pictorial exhibition (open from 20 October - 3 November 2008) which relates specifically to the history of Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

What is now known as Anglia Ruskin University today was founded in 1858 by leading art critic John Ruskin. Originally the Cambridge School of Art, the institution moved to its present Cambridge campus in 1909.  Past students of the University will remember the centre of teaching and learning passing through some finite changes,  as it progressed through the guises of Cambridge College of Arts and Technology (CCAT) and Anglia Polytechnic University (APU) - names now finally consigned to history.

Included in the displays will be a timeline, information on founders, and a history of buildings past and present.  There will also be insights into student life, the achievements of alumni, maps and photographs of the East Road site, and other changes over the years.

The exhibition will coincide with Cambridge’s Festival of Ideas and Anglia Ruskin's Family Fun Day on 1 November, when a varied programme of events and activities will be organised including a series of local history talks relating to the theme of the exhibition.  Its launch is set to coincide with the publication of Tony Kirby's book 'Anglia 150' which has been specially commissioned as part of the University's 150th anniversary celebration.

The organisers of this 150th anniversary event are Yvonne Bradbury, Thelma May and Andrew Bethune, all members of Anglia Ruskin University’s library team.

Commenting on what the public will see, Andrew Bethune, from Anglia Ruskin University’s Cambridge Library, said:

“We had a very enthusiastic response to our request for relevant material for this 150 years exhibition and so are confident that visitors will all find something of interest here.  Whether you are an ex-student or simply a resident of Cambridge with memories of the way things were you should come and take a look at the 150 year review we have created.”

“What we can assure you, as you now look at the state-of-the art redevelopment of the East Road campus, is that things have changed dramatically in the physical sense.  Although in terms of the philosophy of John Ruskin and what he was trying to achieve - in terms of making education and a rich life experience available to all – everything is actually very much the same.”

The exhibition is open to members of the general public and admission is free.  For more information, contact 0845 271 3333 or visit