Knitting Reference Library
The Knitting Reference Library (KRL) includes the published works collected by Montse Stanley, Richard Rutt and Jane Waller. These comprise books, exhibition catalogues, knitting patterns, journals and magazines.
Since acquiring these collections we have continued to add new acquisitions related to knitting from work by contemporary artists to traditional stitchionaries. Our aim is to continue building the collection in the same spirit of enquiry as the collectors.
There has been a peak in publishing on knitting since about 2008 so we have been able to add new books fairly regularly. This is especially important as the series of In the loop conferences have become a focus for disseminating new research. We also add relevant contextual material from other disciplines. Our aim has to been to reflect the revival of interest in the many aspects of this art, craft and fashion.
The earliest published work is dated 1840 the most recent published in September 2012. The journals include a run of Girls Own Annual dating from 1881 collected by Montse Stanley. This rich and wide ranging resource focused around a single subject has been the foundation for our work with the KRL, the continuation of In the loop and related activities.
All the books have been catalogued and are on open access. The knitting patterns, journals and magazines are all kept in our store on site for which we run a collection service.We have recently listed the knitting patterns by collector followed by type of knitwear then organised by decades. A selection of the patterns have been digitised but is dependent on copyright clearance. We are also in the process of cataloguing the journals and magazines alongside checking the holdings for each title. A number of these materials are available online. The Victorian knitting manuals donated by Richard Rutt have been digitised and are also available online.