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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

408th Anniversary: The official inauguration of the Bodleian Library

408th Anniversary: The official inauguration of the Bodleian Library"On 8 November, 408 years ago, the University Library, known today as Bodleian Library, was officially re-opened. The re-institution of the Public Library of the University of Oxford by Thomas Bodley (1545—1613) at the beginning of the 17th century represents a milestone in the provision of library services in England and worldwide. The first University Library in Oxford had in the mid 14th century been housed in a room adjoining the church of St Mary the Virgin, on High Street. The gift of 279 manuscripts to the University by Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester, between 1439 and 1444, prompted the building of a purpose-built library room above the Divinity school. Completed in 1488, this, the University's second library, flourished for about sixty years. When Thomas Bodley came to Magdalen College in 1560, the library room was empty and derelict. Throughout his Oxford career the only libraries available to students at the university were in their colleges"

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