Keele brought to book

January 15, 1999

I write as a member of Keele's senate, who voted against sale of the Turner collection. As John Rogers states (THES, Letters, January 8), we were told that our vote would not affect the final decision, which would be left to council. There was certainly no "wide-ranging debate" on the issue, contrary to what Chris Stone says; indeed the views of Keele's academic community seem to have been largely ignored in reaching the unfortunate decision to go ahead with this sale.

Robert A. Jackson Senior lecturer in chemistry Keele University It is a total insult to say that the proceeds of the sale of the Turner collection have been "ringfenced for vital reinvestment in library materials and infrastructure" (THES, Letters, January 8). Yesterday I returned from a conference in London to discover a list of journals to be withdrawn from the library's stock in my pigeon-hole.

If the Pounds 1 million languishing in a bank account somewhere has been "ringfenced" for the library, why is important material being thrown out?

Although academics are being consulted, it seems quite galling that it is happening in the first place. Only the other day at the German Historical Institute was I boasting about the wealth of little-known historical sources available at Keele. And now it seems we will have a journal collection only from 1975 onwards.

This intellectual asset-stripping is all the more ludicrous as the university hopes to attract more research students in future. Does this mean Keele will accept only postgraduates whose interests are after 1975?

Samantha T. Johnson Department of history, Keele University.

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