Sunday, March 09, 2008

Unlocking the Bodleian

"The largest single cash donation ever made to a university library in the UK has been given to the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

Julian Blackwell has donated £5m towards the redevelopment of the New Bodleian Library in Oxford City centre. The renovation will transform the housing of the Bodleian’s priceless collections and will open up its treasures to the public. The 10,000 square feet main hall of the redeveloped New Bodleian Library will be named Blackwell Hall in honour of Julian Blackwell."

-- March 7th, OULS announcement

A fascinating story, this. Julian Blackwell's five million pound donation will provide public access to what is probably the single most important treasure house of academic learning in the world. So is this unprecedented move really what it seems, or will access to the majority of those books still be reserved for those in possession of an official Reader's card?

Visit the Oxford University Library Services website for the full story, or the BBC news site.

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