Bodleian’s Old Library

I’m starting with the Bodleian Library’s Old Library, the beating heart of Oxford’s library system. Oxford had a library collection as early as 1320 but it found its first real home in Duke Humphrey’s library, built in 1488 and still a functioning part of the square-shaped building (photos 3 and 4). If you’re looking for a special collections book, you can still request to look at it in Duke Humphrey’s, providing you leave your pens at home! The library suffered during struggles between the English and Catholic Churches, when reformers stripped it of ‘superstitious’ books and images (ie almost everything). Sir Thomas Bodley came to the rescue, using his wife’s family money to the excellent end of restoring the library in 1602, and for this it justly bears his name. The Bodleian continues to undergo improvements–it not only has artificial lighting (as of 1929) but also wifi! And they’ll scan book chapters for you! For me there’s no better place to get work done than the Upper Reading Room facing the Radcliffe Camera, where they keep the English lit books (photos 2 and 9).

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Read all about the Bodleian’s history, which I’ve condensed, here:

http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/bodley/about/history

Also they have an excellent gift shop(pe)!

Advertisements

One comment on “Bodleian’s Old Library

  1. Jason Marks says:

    Silence Please! in a snowy courtyard. I love it. Though I guess passing students might get pretty rambunctious there is int spring.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s