As if the exterior isn't imposing enough,the interior courtyard
is truly awe inspiring. With beautiful latin inscribed doorways
to each section of library.
I agree with the previous reviewer.
The Bodleian is a beautiful architectural masterpiece. It's history is rich and is important to the city of Oxford & Oxford University. I received a temporary library card while I was studying at Wadham College. The library is confusing- the policies are very strict and the place is very intimidating. Unfortunately many of the college's libraries aren't open during the summer and they definitely don't offer the selection that Bodleian does...
This massive library has at least 3 separate buildings which makes the art of finding books ridiculously confusing. Some selections are not available and easily accessible at all times. In order to find the books you need- since they might be located in different buildings or at an off-site location you have to request the books you'd like from the stacks and have them delivered to the specific reading room that you might happen to be doing your work in. This could take more than 2 days- which doesn't really make getting a lot of work done in one day possible. First you have to research the books you need and then possibly wait several days before you actually see those books in person. This puts a serious damper on getting work done efficiently.
Once you get your long awaited texts you can have them held in a reading room but no one, I repeat, no one is allowed to take books from the library. This is because hundreds of years ago the majority of the library's books were stolen and burned. This is also the reason why your bags get checked before you enter the library.. No drinks, food, matches, lighters etc. allowed.
The one good thing about this place is the selection of books- The Bodleian is what is known as a "copyright" library. This means that a copy of every book published in the UK lies in the Bodleian. Definitely worth checking out- and there are obviously tons of great resources there dating back to who knows when..
Have fun in Oxford if you happen to be visiting!
Truly awe inspiring in its position & architecture. Like so many buildings in oxford you have to visit. It's a litte pricey to take tours & see the whole building but we chose to see the divinity hall.
The Bodleian library contains every book ever published in the UK. That's an awful lot of books! What's really amazing is that they're stored under the town of Oxford in tunnels stretching 117 miles and connecting some of the different libraries in an underground world of hidden treasures.
The Bodleian (or 'the Bod', as it is fondly known) consists of 3 areas:
- The New Bod, which is opposite the Kings Arms and allows no visitors.
- The Bod main building, which is a square doughnut shape with the quad in the middle.
- The Radcliffe Camera ('the RadCam'), which is the most stunning of the buildings.
Entry to the quad is free, where you can see scholars heading to work for the day and surround yourself in history, imagining all the books below you. It's a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the high street and you really could be from any time in history when you're looking up at the old walls.
There are also daily guided tours, which will allow you accompanied entry into the main Bodleian building, to see such wonders as Duke Humfreys library - a gorgeous, ancient library gently lit, with beautiful old leather-bound books from wall to ceiling. Visitors are also allowed into the Divinity School (Hogwarts library in Harry Potter) and the Bodleian's exhibition room. There's a gift shop, which makes up for not being allowed to take photos inside the building. It's well worth getting these tours, as the history of the place is fascinating.
The Bodleian has appeared in: Inspector Morse, Brideshead Revisited and the first 2 Harry Potter films, to name a few. Take a step inside and you'll soon see why.
The Radcliffe Camera, as pictured here, is frequently confused as being the Bodleian library. The Bodliean is in fact the name given to all the libraries of the University of Oxford, which together form one of three copyright libraries in the country (meaning that they receive a copy of every book published in Britain by law).
The Rad Cam, as it's referred to, is definitely the most well known and is iconic of Oxford itself. Find a student, who can get you in, otherwise tours are available!
If you study the history of books, binding or the origins of print, this library is probably going to make you wet your pants. I just stood in awe - taking deep breaths of air filled with the smell of ancient paper and ink and leather. I never dreamed I'd get even this close to these manuscripts in my lifetime and I certainly didn't expect to get to wander out the front doors with the Gutenberg bible under my arm. I'm glad to hear they are so careful about who they allow in as there are evidently enough students out there who don't fully appreciate the magnitude of what they are entrusted with when they use this library. This is the Alexandria of our time. The tours are fascinating and don't miss the current exhibit of book bindings - they have a small but well chosen collection of covers on display.
Don't get me wrong, I love to read (check my habit out at goodreads.com/spacenoel) but this stop was a little bit a waste of time beyond just seeing Oxford University. The highlight of the tour was The Drake Chair, a chair made from the timbers of Sir Francis Drake's ship and given to the library in 1662. Exciting huh?
Awesome library, with the obvious massive claim to having a copy of every book published in the U.K. stored somewhere, even if it is underground in some Gringotts equivalent. Students at Oxford don't know they're BORN having those sorts of resources at their disposal! Also some lovely reading rooms.
Great library, great books, too much time spent their as a student.
gotta go just to say you have been. Used in its genuine way for couple of studies at uni but the place has this great historicla awe about it. huge and the filming of the Mummy was done in part here as was Harry Potter. Old, beautiful and an Oxford landmark
this location in oxford has been in many major motion pictures golden compass and harry potter.
the library is a classic piece of architecture and an amazing library open to students of oxford.
its truely a inspiring building the centre of a court it stands perfectly in oxford town centre.
As a building imposing, as library dreadful. Exclusively staffed by the kind of bolshy, self-important jobsworths that used to be the backbone of the Gas Board and British Leyland. It seems to think it is a private club, and not a public library funded by the taxpayer. Still, on the plus side they do keep making more and more librarians redundant.
The Bodleian Library's most famous aspect is the Radcliffe Camera, frequently seen in many a Morse and Lewis episode as a means of anchoring the viewer to the city. The Camera is well worth a look, as is the Sheldonian Theatre that's on the same land. Both buildings are interesting, and the Theatre has a marvellous painted ceiling.
An invaluable resource for any historian, with an ever-growing collection spanning all eras of British and world history. Books are in high demand from students, so be sure to check a title's availability online using SOLO before you arrive.
The Bodleian library where I studied for my dissertation and passed, was quite an eye opener, from the architecture to the books that are from earlier than the 16th century and beyond. I count myself privileged to have studied in there and to gain some fantastic research journal material that I used for my dissertation, which I couldn't find anywhere else.
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