We wish to reassure David Singmaster and other interested parties that Keele's decision to sell the Turner collection was made only after a wide-ranging debate within the university's committee senate and council. Indeed a strategic review of the university's collections and their use informed these events.
The university took expert advice from booksellers, auctioneers and librarians about the real value of the collection and its uniqueness. The council took all this into account before making its decision. There was never any suggestion that the material could be accessed after the sale, although the university has taken steps to ensure items in the collection will continue to remain available to researchers in facsimile form.
The proceeds of the sale have been ringfenced for vital reinvestment in library materials and infrastructure, including the conservation listing and promotion of the university's other special collections.
Chris Stone. Media and publicity officer Keele University