Friday, July 16
Bodleian Library, Oxford
Although Oxford University is the 3rd oldest University, founded around the beginning of the 13th century, in the world and the oldest English speaking university it was not until the 1320 that, with funds donated by Thomas de Cobham, that a small library was erected in the academic quarter. In 1423, it was decided that a University library building was needed. Although at this time the process was started to build the library, it took 65 years for the process to be completed due to the slow process of raising money because benefactors would give to the colleges not the university. The process was finally complete in 1488, largely due to donations by the library’s founder Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, and the library was opened. Unfortunately, the collection was mostly destroyed due to the Reformation, by King Edward VI destroying items affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Although, every book was removed, not all were destroyed and the Library has 10 intact items from the original library. In 1598, the library was rescued and reopened in 1602, due to the donation of Bodley and other contributors. The library opened with a collection of 2500 books and appointed Thomas James as the librarian. Soon after the opening the first printed catalog was created and completed in 1605. Other contributors to the library over the years include Thomas James, the 3rd Earl of Pembroke, Sir Kenelm Digby, William Laud and many others.
One other attraction to the Bodleian Library is that sections of the library were used in the filming of the movie "Harry Potter".
To learn more about the Bodleian Library visit www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/bodley .