Just Laws
Note to the Law & Governments: Labour & Riches by John Ruskin

These laws need revision quite as much respecting property in national as in private hands. For instance: the public are under a vague impression, that because they have paid for the contents of the British Museum, every one has an equal right to see and to handle them. But the public have similarly paid for the contents of Woolwich Arsenal; yet do not expect free access to it, or handling of its contents. The British Museum is neither a free circulating library, nor a free school; it is a place for the safe preservation, and exhibition on due occasion, of unique books, unique objects of natural history, and unique works of art; its books can no more be used by everybody than its coins can be handled, or its statues cast. Free libraries there ought to be in every quarter of London, with large and complete reading-rooms attached; so also free educational institutions should be open in every quarter of London, all day long and till late at night, well lighted, well catalogued, and rich in contents both of art and natural history. But neither the British Museum nor National Gallery are schools; they are treasuries; and both should be severely restricted in access and in use. Unless some order is taken, and that soon, in the MSS. department of the Museum (Sir Frederic Madden was complaining of this to me only the other day), the best MSS. in the collection will be destroyed, irretrievably, by the careless and continual handling to which they are now subjected.