University of Oxford, Libraries

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Summary

The University of Oxford (informally Oxford University or simply Oxford) is a collegiate research university located in Oxford, England. While having no known date of foundation, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and the world's second-oldest surviving university. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled northeast to Cambridge, where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two "ancient universitie

Details

The University maintains the largest university library system in the UK; and, with over 11 million volumes housed on of shelving, the Bodleian group is the second-largest library in the UK, after the British Library. The Bodleian is a legal deposit library, which means that it is entitled to request a free copy of every book published in the UK. As such, its collection is growing at a rate of over three miles (five kilometres) of shelving every year.

The buildings referred to as the University's main research library, The Bodleian, consist of the original Bodleian Library in the Old Schools Quadrangle, founded by Sir Thomas Bodley in 1598 and opened in 1602, the Radcliffe Camera, the Clarendon Building, and the New Bodleian Building. A tunnel underneath Broad Street connects these buildings, with the Gladstone Link connecting the Old Bodleian and Radcliffe Camera opening to readers in 2011.

The Bodleian Libraries group was formed in 2000, bringing the Bodleian Library and some of the subject libraries together. It now comprises 28 libraries, a number of which have been created by bringing previously separate collections together, including the Sackler Library, Social Science Library and Radcliffe Science Library. Another major product of this collaboration has been a joint integrated library system, OLIS (Oxford Libraries Information System), and its public interface, SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online), which provides an electronic catalogue covering all member libraries, as well as the libraries of individual colleges and other faculty libraries, which are not members of the group but do share cataloguing information.

A new book depository opened in South Marston, Swindon in October 2010, and current building projects include the remodelling of the New Bodleian building, which will be renamed the Weston Library when it reopens in 2014–15. The renovation is designed to better showcase the library’s various treasures (which include a Shakespeare First Folio and a Gutenberg Bible) as well as temporary exhibitions.

The Bodleian engaged in a mass-digitisation project with Google in 2004.

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External Links

  • Wikipedia'The University of Oxford', A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3: The University of Oxford (1954), pp. 1–38

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