The Kluge-Ruhe Study Center

The Kluge-Ruhe Study Center is a non-circulating library and archive that provides research support and collections for the study of Indigenous Australian art and culture. It is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm. Please contact for general inquiries about the Study Center, or to make an appointment to see archive holdings. Click here for directions to the Kluge-Ruhe Collection.

The Library

Joe Gumbula and Louise Hamby conduct research in the Kluge-Ruhe Collection Study Center.
The Kluge-Ruhe Library consists of over 1,200 volumes on Indigenous Australian art and culture, including books, periodicals, exhibition and auction catalogues, and audio and video recordings. A number of volumes are rare, and some are the only copies that exist in the United States. Some were collected by Edward L. Ruhe (1923-89), and others have been acquired by the museum since it opened in 1999. The library holdings are openly accessible at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection to the University and public communities. Search the holdings.

The Archive

Joe Gumbula and Louise Hamby conduct research in the Kluge-Ruhe Collection Study Center.
The Kluge-Ruhe Archive consists of the personal research of Professor Edward L. Ruhe. When Ed Ruhe first went to Australia as a Fulbright Scholar in 1965, he began collecting books and other ephemera. From this time onward, he corresponded with leading museum curators, anthropologists and collectors around the world who shared his interest in Aboriginal art, which culminated in over 1,500 pieces of correspondence. One of his primary aims was to give well-deserved and long overdue artistic recognition to Aboriginal artists, and to this end he created a database that includes biographical data for over 500 Aboriginal painters and carvers, 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 archive holdings is by appointment only. To make an appointment, please contact Nicole Wade by calling the museum at 434-244-0234 or by emailing her at