The New Bodleian Library unveils plans for major revamp

By Culture24 Staff | 04 March 2010
an artists impression of the outside of a building

Plans to restore and renovate the New Bodleian Library designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in the 1930s have been unveiled to the public.

The plans aim to increase public access to the library, improve storage for its valuable collections and improve the Library's research facilities.

"The improvements to the New Bodleian building are long overdue. Thanks to the generosity of the donors who have contributed to this project, we are at last able to move forward with this exciting and much-needed development," said Sarah Thomas, Bodley's Librarian.

"This major investment of £78m will enable the library both to protect its great collections and to open them up to readers, researchers and the public in an historic building that has been reinterpreted for the 21st century."

an artist's impression of the inside of a building

The plans have been unveiled at a public exhibition at the New Bodleian Library, Parks Road, Oxford. Planning permission and Listed Building Consent will be applied for at the end of the month.

"The New Bodleian was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott in the 1930s. It was built, essentially, as a huge book fortress," said Richard Ovenden, Associate Director and Keeper of Special Collections.

"Wilkinson Eyre Architects has created a stunning design that respects the building's heritage while at the same time modernising our infrastructure and providing better facilities for students and researchers, as well as greater opportunities for collaboration with and outreach to the wider community."

an artist's impression of the inside of a building showing display cabinets

Ovenden added: "This is a major project for a working academic library. We need to move over 3.5 million books out of the building before work begins. As a working University library, we will continue to deliver our normal high standards of book and information delivery."

Subject to this approval being received, the renovation and remodelling work will take five years and the building will reopen in 2015. For more information go to the Bodleian Library website.

All images © Wilkinson Eyre Architects

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