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Friday, May 18, 2012

Radcliffe Camera celebrates its 275th anniversary (UK)

Radcliffe Camera celebrates its 275th anniversary (UK)On 17 May 1737, the foundation stone of the Radcliffe Camera was laid. Designed by James Gibbs, the building, which has become an essential part of the University Libraries and a symbol of Oxford, took twelve years to build. It was officially opened on April 1749. The Radcliffe Library was the brainchild of, Dr John Radcliffe (1650–1714), perhaps the most successful English physician of his day. He left his trustees a large sum of money with which to purchase both the land for the new building and an endowment to pay a librarian and purchase books. The site eventually chosen for the Library was to the south of the Schools Quadrangle, in the middle of a new square (Radcliffe Square) formed by the demolition of old houses in School Street and Catte Street and bounded by All Souls and Brasenose Colleges and the University Church. Here, between 1737 and 1748, the monumental circular domed building – Oxford’s most impressive piece of classical architecture – went up to the designs of James Gibbs and was finally opened in 1749

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