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Born on this day
Ludwig Elsbett
Ludwig Elsbett was the inventor of the Elsbett Engine.
45th week in year
8 November 2019

Important eventsBack

The Bodleian Library is opened to the public8.11.1602

Wikipedia (28 Oct 2013, 13:29)

The Bodleian Library, the main research library of the University of Oxford, is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library with over 11 million items. Known to Oxford scholars as "Bodley" or simply "the Bod", under the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 it is one of six legal deposit libraries for works published in the United Kingdom and under Irish Law it is entitled to request a copy of each book published in the Republic of Ireland. The Bodleian operates principally as a reference library and in general documents may not be removed from the reading rooms.

All Oxford colleges have their own libraries, which in a number of cases were established well before the foundation of the Bodleian. Historically, the college libraries were entirely independent of the Bodleian. However, recent years have seen them brought together for certain purposes under the umbrella of what was formerly known as Oxford University Library Services (OULS), and now as the Bodleian Libraries, of which the Bodleian is just one.

Whilst the Bodleian Library, in its current incarnation, has a continuous history dating back to 1602, its roots date back even further. The first purpose-built library known to have existed in Oxford was founded in the fourteenth century by Thomas Cobham, Bishop of Worcester. This small collection of chained books was situated above the north side of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin on the High Street. This collection continued to grow steadily, but when, between 1435 and 1437 Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (brother of Henry V of England), donated a great collection of manuscripts, the space was deemed insufficient and a larger building was required. A suitable room was finally built above the Divinity School, and completed in 1488. This room continues to be known as Duke Humfrey’s Library.

   
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