Frederick William Ratcliffe

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Frederick William Ratcliffe (born 1927) is an English philologist and librarian. He has a Ph.D. in German, given for his thesis on Heinrich von Mügeln at the University of Manchester. From 1954 he was an assistant librarian or sublibrarian in the universities of Manchester, Glasgow, and Newcastle upon Tyne. He succeeded Moses Tyson as the University Librarian at Manchester in 1965 and from 1972 was additionally director of the John Rylands University Library. In 1980 he became University Librarian at the University of Cambridge where he remained until his retirement in 1994. From 1995 to 2000 he was Parker Librarian at the Parker Library, Corpus Christi College.[1] He has written a number of papers on the subject of librarianship including the preservation of library materials.

His son is George Ratcliffe, a professor of plant metabolism at Oxford.[2]

Selected writings[edit]

  • 1966-1980: University of Manchester. Librarian's report, 1966–1980
  • 1980: "The Scholar in the Academic Library" in: B. C. Bloomfield, ed., Middle East Studies and Libraries: a felicitation volume for Professor J. D. Pearson. London: Mansell Information Publishing; pp. 163–178
  • 1980: "Archival Responsibilities of University Libraries" in Journal of Librarianship and Information Science vol. 12 (1980) pp. 71–83
  • 1982: The Role of the Modern University Library. 23 pp. Darwin
  • 1991: "Preservation and Scholarship in Libraries" in Library Review vol. 40 (1991) pp. 62–71
  • 2007: Books, Books, Just Miles and Miles of Books: across the library counter, 1950–2000. 317 p.; 31 cm. Cambridge: F. W. Ratcliffe (unpublished autobiography, held at Cambridge University Library)


  • Who's Who.
  • Pullan, Brian & Abendstern, Michele (2000) A History of the University of Manchester, 1951-73 ISBN 0-7190-5670-5; p. 92 Quotation
  1. ^ Pullan, Brian; Abendstern, Michele (2004). A history of the University of Manchester, 1973-90. 2. Manchester University Press. p. 310. ISBN 978-0-7190-6242-1. 
  2. ^ "Professor George Ratcliffe". DPS, Oxford. Retrieved 20 March 2017.