The Bodleian Library in Oxford, England is one of the oldest libraries in the world. With a collection of books that spans centuries of history and knowledge, its hallowed halls provide a window into the past and offer visitors an educational and cultural experience unlike any other in the world. Whether you’re a researcher, a student, or even a casual traveler, a visit to the Bodleian Library is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience. In this blog, you’ll learn about the incredible history of the library, discover interesting facts, and get a traveler’s guide to exploring the library’s treasures for yourself. So, read on to explore one of the greatest libraries of all time!
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1. The Bodleian Library began when Duke Humphrey of Gloucester donated his extensive collection of books in 1444.
2. The Bodleian Library is one of six legal deposit libraries in the UK, and has the right to receive a copy of every book published in the UK and Ireland.
3. The library holds the ultimate Harry Potter book collection, featuring first editions, manuscripts and the original drawings and watercolours of Mary GrandPré – the illustrator of the series.
4. The library has its own fleet of vans used for receiving and delivering collections between other libraries and its own sites.
5. Within the library lies the Codrington Library, dedicated to works on theology. It is home to some of the oldest books in Europe.
6. The Radcliffe Camera is a circular domed reading room containing over 1 million books, which was built in 1737-1749.
7. The library’s popular summer reading room was opened in 1897.
8. The library houses a priceless collection of Ptolemaic papyri, believed to be the oldest books in Europe, written between 130BC and 1100AD.
9. The Bodleian Library’s website is inspired by Alice in Wonderland, with an optional ‘Through the Looking Glass’ layout where the page layout is upside down.
10. Among the treasures held by the library is a set of four volumes called The Shakespeare Folios – first editions of Shakespeare’s plays, published in 1623, 1632, 1664 and 1685.
The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford in England. It is one of the oldest libraries in Europe and is the second largest library in the United Kingdom, behind only the British Library. The library was founded in 1602 when Sir Thomas Bodley established it as a research collection for the university.
The library consists of more than 11 million volumes, making it one of the largest libraries in the world. It is a copyright library, meaning that it receives a copy of all books published in the United Kingdom and Ireland. As a result, it is home to one of the largest collections of printed books in the world, making it a popular destination for scholars.
The library is made up of several buildings, each catering to a different kind of resource. The main building, the Bodleian Library, is the largest of the buildings and houses the majority of books. The Radcliffe Camera is located nearby and contains a number of rare books and manuscripts. Other resources at the library include the Bodleian Law Library, the Old Bodleian Library, and the Clarendon Book Room.
Using the Library requires readers to obtain a Reader’s Card in order to access the books and material. They must also abide by certain rules of conduct, as outlined in the University’s Statutes and Ordinances. Beyond that, the library is open to everyone, regardless of status or background.
1. Getting There: The Bodleian Library is located in central Oxford, so it’s easy to get to using public transportation. The closest train station is Oxford Station, which is a 15 minute walk away. The Library is also accessible by bus, with bus stops located on St Giles and Broad Street.
2. Opening Hours: The Library has different opening hours depending on what you want to visit. The main reading rooms are open Monday to Friday from 9am-7pm, and on Sundays from 11am-5pm. The Special Collections Reading Room has more limited opening hours: Monday – Friday from 10:30am-4:30pm, and the Weston Library only has restricted access.
3. Admission: Entrance to the Library is free, however, there may be a charge for admission to certain exhibitions.
4. Things to See: The Bodleian Library is home to an incredible collection of books, manuscripts, and artifacts. Must see attractions include the Divinity School (built in 1488), the Radcliffe Camera (built in 1737), and Duke Humfrey’s Library (built in 1488).
5. Tips: Make sure to check the Library’s website before visiting to view any events, exhibitions, or talks that may be taking place. If you plan to take photos whilst inside the Library, you will need to purchase a photography permit from the Information Desk in the main entrance hall.
Q: When was the Bodleian Library founded?
A: The Bodleian Library was founded in 1602 and is Britain’s oldest library.
Q: What collections does the Bodleian Library have?
A: The Bodleian Library holds over 13 million printed items, including rare books, manuscripts, maps, ephemera and digital resources, as well as numerous specialized collections such as the Rhodes House Library.
Q: Can anyone visit the Bodleian Library?
A: Yes, anyone can visit the Bodleian Library and take part in its many events. You may also access its resources by joining as a reader, which will grant you borrowing rights. For more details on this process, please visit the library’s website.
Q: What is the “Radcliffe Camera”?
A: The Radcliffe Camera is a building within the Bodleian Library complex that houses the library’s reading rooms. It was designed in the 18th century and is one of Oxford’s most iconic landmarks.
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