The Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford form the largest university library system in the United Kingdom. They include the principal University library—the Bodleian Library—which has been a library of legal deposit for 400 years; major research libraries; and libraries attached to faculties, departments and other institutions of the University. The combined library collections number more than 11 million printed items, in addition to 30,000 e-journals and vast quantities of materials in other formats.
This library has Designated Collections of national importance.
Archive, Library, Gallery, Heritage site
The Special Collections at the Bodleian Library: Rare books, Manuscripts and Archives, Maps, Music, and Oxford University Archives are Designated Collections of national importance.
These collections include many rare and important items. Highlights amongst them are the only Shakespeare First Folio still in its original home, Handel’s conducting score of 'Messiah', the Gutenberg Bible, Mary Shelley's manauscript of 'Frankenstein', Holst’s autograph of 'The Planets' to name just a few.
Key artists and exhibits
- Designated Collection
Magical Books: From the Middle Ages to Middle-earth
Don't miss the Bodleian's summer exhibition showcasing some of the foremost modern exponents of children's fantasy literature, members of the group of writers informally known as the 'Oxford School': C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Susan Cooper, Alan Garner and Philip Pullman. From its unique holdings of these authors' papers, the Library will display a selection of original artwork and manuscripts. Also featured will be some of the books and manuscripts that contain the myths, legends, and magical practices on which these Oxford-educated authors freely drew for inspiration. ADMISSION FREE.
- Any age