Bodleian Library Treasures
David Vaisey Bodleian Library Publishing, 2014 Library of Congress Z792.B67V35 2015 | Dewey Decimal 027.742574
Since its founding, the Bodleian Library has become home to treasures from throughout history and every corner of the globe. From among this remarkable and historically rich collection, David Vaisey has selected nearly one hundred treasures with a particularly fascinating story to tell.
Rare books, music, manuscripts, ephemera, and maps, many of the treasures photographed and described for this lavish volume are well-loved around the world, from Jane Austen’s manuscript of The Watsons to notebooks created by the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, a map of Narnia drawn by C. S. Lewis, and the original manuscript of the renowned children’s work The Wind in the Willows. Others are known for their beauty or historical significance, including the Gutenberg Bible, Magna Carta, and the extraordinary medieval manuscript the Douce Apocalypse. Still others hold poignant stories like the small handwritten book presented as a New Year’s present in 1545 to Katherine Parr by an eleven-year-old stepdaughter who would later become Queen Elizabeth I. Vaisey brings these and other treasures together in chronological order, showcasing the Bodleian Library’s renowned collections.
The custom of formal dining at Oxford and Cambridge dates back to the earliest days of college life. Before each dinner, according to ancient statutes, grace must be said in Latin, and, although the text and nature of grace for each college has changed over the years, the tradition itself remains current to this day.
Following a historical introduction, The College Graces of Oxford and Cambridge reproduces in chronological order the full Latin texts of all the graces alongside facing English-language translations. Also included are the special graces reserved for feast days, as well as an explanation of some of the traditions that accompany them, including the trumpeters that summon students to dinner to the use of the Sconce Cup and the Rose Bowl.
From the twelfth-century monastic texts and the two-word graces of the nineteenth century to the new graces written for the modern age, this meticulous collection reveals how the tradition of the Latin grace has survived and evolved over the centuries and offers a rare glimpse inside the private halls of Oxford and Cambridge.
Crossing Borders tells the intriguing but largely unfamiliar story of the exchange of culture and knowledge between Jews and non-Jews in the Muslim and Christian worlds during the late Middle Ages as part of the preparation of Hebrew manuscripts. The book is composed of ten narratives, each of which brings to light a different aspect of Jewish life in a non-Jewish medieval society—highlighting the practical cooperation, social interaction, and religious toleration that was surprisingly common between the groups involved in the early enterprise of book production.
Alongside the narratives, Crossing Borders is beautifully illustrated with images from the Hebrew holdings at the Bodleian Library—one of the largest and most important collections of Hebrew manuscripts worldwide. The art includes Christian codex fragments from the third century, a copy of Moses Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah signed by Maimonides himself, a thirteenth century German Jewish prayer book, and lavishly illuminated Spanish Bible manuscripts from the fifteenth century. This exquisitely illustrated book takes a fascinating look at the often-ignored role of Jews in the written transmission of culture and science throughout medieval Europe.
The Radcliffe Camera is one of the most celebrated buildings in Britain. Named for the physician John Radcliffe—who directed a large part of his fortune to its realization at the heart of the University of Oxford in the early eighteenth century—the circular library is instantly recognizable, its great dome rising amidst the gothic spires of the university.
Drawing on maps, plans, photographs, and drawings, Dr Radcliffe’s Library tells the fascinating story of the building’s creation over more than thirty years. Early designs for the Radcliffe Camera were drawn by the brilliant architect Nicholas Hawksmoor, who conceived the shape so recognizable today: a great rotunda topped by the University of Oxford’s only dome. From there, it would take decades to acquire and clear the site between the University Church of St Mary’s and the Bodleian. After Hawksmoor’s death, the project was taken on by the Scottish architect James Gibbs who refined the design and supervised the library’s construction.
Published to accompany an exhibition opening in November at the Bodleian Library, Dr Radcliffe’s Library tells the fascinating story of the making of this architectural masterpiece.
From its creation by Charles Elton in 1932 to its demise when he retired in 1967, the Bureau of Animal Population at Oxford was a mecca for ecologists from around the world. Crowcroft provides an anecdotal history of this small research institute that so strongly influenced the development of modern animal ecology.
"[This] is a very good account of the work and personal interactions of a group that played an important part in the development of animal ecology in the period 1930-60."—John Krebs, TREE
Evelyn Waugh's Oxford
Barbara Cooke Bodleian Library Publishing, 2018 Library of Congress PR6045.A97Z627 2018 | Dewey Decimal 823.912
Evelyn Waugh’s Oxford years were so formative that the city never left him, appearing again and again in his novels in various forms. This book explores in rich visual detail the abiding importance of Oxford as both location and experience in Waugh’s works. Drawing on specially commissioned illustrations and previously unpublished photographic material, it provides a critically robust assessment of the author’s engagement with Oxford over the course of his literary career.
Following a brief overview of Waugh’s life and work, subsequent chapters examine the prose and graphic art Waugh produced as an undergraduate, together with his portrayal of Oxford in Brideshead Revisited and his memoir, A Little Learning. A specially commissioned, hand-drawn trail around Evelyn Waugh’s Oxford guides the reader around the city Waugh knew and loved through such iconic locations as the Botanic Garden, the Oxford Union, and the Chequers.
A unique literary biography, this book brings to life Waugh’s Oxford, exploring the lasting impression it made on one of the most accomplished literary craftsmen of the twentieth century.
Representing four centuries of collecting and a thousand years of Jewish history, this book brings together Hebrew manuscripts and rare books from the Bodleian Library and Oxford colleges. Highlights of the extraordinary collections include a fragment of Maimonides’ autograph draft of the Mishneh Torah, the earliest dated fragment of the Talmud, exquisitely illuminated manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible, stunning festival prayer books, and one of the oldest surviving Jewish seals in England. Lavishly illustrated essays by experts in the field bring these outstanding works to life, exploring the personalities and diverse motivations of their original collectors.
Saved for posterity by religious scholarship, intellectual rivalry, and political ambition, these extraordinary collections also detail the consumption and circulation of knowledge across the centuries, forming a social and cultural history of objects moved across borders from person to person. Together, they offer a fascinating journey through Jewish intellectual and social history.
The Bodleian Library and the museums of the University of Oxford are home to many historically significant and valuable manuscripts, rare books, and artifacts related to Korean history and culture. Despite their importance, many of these items have been overlooked within the libraries’ collections and largely neglected by scholars. Korean Treasures seeks to change this by highlighting the many noteworthy and unusual archaeological relics and artworks in the collections and presenting them together in a single volume for the first time.
Notable items included here are the court painting scroll of the funeral procession of King Yongjo (1694–1776); a presentation edition of a book given by King Yongjo to his son-in-law; a group of documents issued by Emperor Kojong (1852–1919) between 1885–86 to confer various titles to his civil and military officials; a sundial made by the famous maker Kang Yun (1830–1898) for Emperor Kojong; a ceramic dish made and signed by Princess Yi Pangja (1901–1989) as well as a rare example of a suit of armor, an ornate helmet of the early sixteenth century, and a general’s quiver and arrows. In addition to the numerous color images of items from the collection, Korean Treasures provides a thorough overview of the extent of the Korean book collections in Oxford and a guide to the locations where some of these treasures can be found.
Latin Inscriptions in Oxford
Compiled with Translations by Reginald H. Adams Bodleian Library Publishing, 2015 Library of Congress CN595.O9L38 2015 | Dewey Decimal 942
For six centuries following its foundation, Latin was the main language written and spoken at the University of Oxford. Today, one can still find Latin inscriptions carved into many of its monuments, as well those of the city, dating from the medieval period to the present day. But few of us can discern what all of these inscriptions mean.
For Latin Inscriptions in Oxford, Reginald H. Adams, a former scholar at St. John’s College, University of Oxford, has translated a selection of Latin inscriptions. Among them, he finds a great many tributes and memorials—to Queen Anne, Cardinal Wolsey, and T. E. Lawrence, but also to Irene Frude, a “most kindly landlady” on Little Clarendon who “provided each day for almost thirty-five years enormous breakfasts.” Some of the inscriptions offer concise commentary—“Without experiment, it is not possible to know anything adequately.” While others are instructive like the Rhodes House’s warning, “Let no one who is smoke-bearing enter here.”
Evocative mementoes of the past, the inscriptions collected by Adams bring insight to the vivid history of Oxford, the city and the university.
Liturgical psalters are among the most important—and beautifully illustrated— of medieval Christian books. In their simplest form, psalters included 150 psalms, preceded by a calendar and followed by canticles, or biblical texts, meant to be sung at church services. Though this core content remained relatively unchanged throughout the Middle Ages and across countries, psalters show considerable variation in size, style of presentation, and choice of supplementary texts.
Latin Liturgical Psalters in the Bodleian Library describes more than one hundred psalters from Britain, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Spain, ranging from the ninth to the sixteenth century and reflecting a wide range of requirements and interests. Each entry includes a description of the psalter’s contents, physical makeup, and provenance, alongside full-color images of pages, a bibliography, and tables to assist in the study of illumination and the liturgical use of psalms.
Bringing together important information on a stunning selection of little-known manuscripts held by the Bodleian Library, this volume will prove a valuable resource.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass are two of the most famous, translated, and quoted books in the world. What began as a simple tale told by eccentric Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll) to Alice Liddell, daughter of the Dean of Christ Church, become a worldwide phenomenon. Fostering film adaptations and retellings, and influencing countless other works, the Alice books have a deeply cherished place in popular culture. Known for their oddities and absurdities, the books have been endlessly interpreted and analyzed for symbolism and hidden messages.
Peter Hunt cuts away the psychological speculation that has grown up around the Alice books, and instead traces the historical sources of their multilayered in-jokes and political, literary, and philosophical satire. He situates the books in the history of children’s literature and explores the local and personal references that the real Alice would have understood. Equally fascinating are the rich fragments about everything from the “sensation” novel to Darwinian theory—not to mention Dodgson’s personal feelings—that he wove into the books as they developed.
Illustrated with manuscripts, portraits, Sir John Tenniel’s original line drawings for the first editions, and contemporary photographs, this is an innovative look at two remarkable stories. The Making of Lewis Carroll’s Alice and the Invention of Wonderland takes us on a guided tour from the treacle wells of Victorian Oxford through an astonishing world of politics, philosophy, humor, and nightmare.
The Bodleian Library is one of the few libraries outside Germany with a substantial number of medieval manuscripts from the German-speaking lands. These manuscripts, most of which were acquired by Archbishop Laud in the 1630s, during the Thirty Years War, mainly consist of major groups of codices from ecclesiastical houses in the Rhine-Main area, that is Würzburg, Mainz, and Eberbach. Their potential contribution to the religious and intellectual history of these foundations and to the study of German medieval culture as a whole is immeasurable.
These volumes contain descriptions of more than one hundred medieval manuscripts, mostly Latin, from the Charterhouse St. Michael at Mainz. Dating from the tenth to the fifteenth centuries, they reflect the spirituality and literary interest of the Carthusian order. The first major publication on the Mainz Charterhouse manuscript collection, this two-volume edition provides authoritative and superbly detailed descriptions, including information about the physical characteristics, decoration, binding, and provenance of the manuscripts.
Merton College Library
Julia C. Walworth Bodleian Library Publishing, 2020 Library of Congress Z792.M46W35 2020 | Dewey Decimal 027.742574
The Merton library is rightly known for its antiquity, its beautiful medieval and early modern architecture and fittings, and its remarkable collection of manuscripts and rare books. However, a nineteenth-century plan to tear the medieval library down and replace it was only narrowly prevented. This brief history of Europe’s oldest surviving academic library begins with its origins in the thirteenth century, when a new type of community of scholars was first being set up, and follows through to the present day and its multiple functions as a working college library, a unique resource for researchers, and a delight for curious visitors.
Drawing on the remarkable wealth of documentation in the college’s archives, this is the first history of the library to explore collections, buildings, readers, and staff across more than seven hundred years. The story is told in part through stunning color images that depict not only exceptional treasures but also the library furnishings and decorations, and which show manuscripts, books, bindings, and artifacts of different periods in their changing contexts. Featuring a historical timeline and a floor plan of the college, this book will be of interest to historians, alumni, and tourists alike.
In 2010, with a bequest from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Bodleian Library and the London firm Wilkinson Eyre Architects began to move forward with plans to refurbish the New Bodleian. Having served the community for seventy years, the New Bodleian housed more than three million books and manuscripts and was listed as a site of historic interest. Now, the stately building on Broad Street would preserve its façade while gaining updates to meet modern research needs.
New Bodleian: The Making of the Weston Library tells the story of how the plans for the new Weston Library—as the New Bodleian is now known—were realized, describing in detail the architectural, academic, curatorial, and heritage considerations addressed, as well as the successful collaborations between clients and consultants. Among the updates introduced were enhanced public access, including new entrance spaces; redesigned reading rooms for the study of special collections; new teaching facilities; and state-of-the-art storage space for the library’s many treasures. With over one hundred color illustrations, the book sheds light on the challenges of meeting the needs of an internationally renowned, four-hundred-year-old institution in the twenty-first century.
This volume makes available for the first time in a facsimile edition one of the most important musical manuscripts of the late Middle Ages.
Copied probably in Venice around 1430, the Oxford manuscript contains the most comprehensive surviving collection of secular songs of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. Of the 326 pieces, 216 are not found in any other source. Including works by Guillaume Dufay, Binchois, and nearly all other leading composers of their generation, it is central to an understanding of fifteenth-century song traditions. Because of the copyist's clear and distinctive hand, it is also significant for studies of late medieval musical notation. David Fallows's introduction includes a history of the manuscript, analysis of its preparation, and survey of its choice of repertory, as well as a full inventory of the music and alphabetical indexes by title and composer. The original-size facsimile includes beta-radiographs of all watermarks, as well as ultraviolet photos that show the copyist's changes and revisions.
This volume is the first edition in a new series called Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Music in Facsimile edited by Margaret Bent and John Nádas and published by the University of Chicago Press. This series will include high-quality reproductions of some of the most important and frequently studied European music manuscripts of the late thirteenth through early fifteenth centuries. Each beautifully produced facsimile edition will include a detailed critical introduction and a complete inventory by an acknowledged expert in the field.
Oxford Botanic Garden has occupied its central Oxford site next to the river Cherwell continuously since its foundation in 1621 and is the United Kingdom’s oldest botanic garden. Today, the Garden holds a collection of more than five thousand different types of plant, some of which exist nowhere else and are of international conservation importance.
This guide explores Oxford Botanic Garden’s many historic and innovative features, from the walled garden to the waterlily pool, the greenhouses, the rock garden, the water garden and “Lyra’s bench,” made famous in Philip Pullman’s beloved His Dark Materials series. It also gives a detailed explanation of the Garden’s medicinal and taxonomic beds and special plant collections. Lavishly illustrated with specially-commissioned photographs, this book not only provides a fascinating historical overview but also offers a practical guide to Oxford Botanic Garden and its work today. Featuring a map of the site and a historic timeline, this book is a beautiful souvenir of the birthplace of botanical science in the UK.
Over the past two hundred years, many thousands of undergraduates have been initiated into membership of Apollo, the Masonic Lodge of the University of Oxford. These have included such diverse figures as Oscar Wilde, Samuel Reynolds Hole, and Edward, Prince of Wales and his brother Leopold. Drawing on archives held in the Bodleian Library, this book is the first serious attempt to set the story of Apollo in the context of Oxford life and learning as well as its wider social and political diaspora. From the devastating numbers lost in World Wars I and II, as well as those decorated for bravery, to the significant number of Olympians who were members of the lodge, the book also charts the lodge’s charitable work, social events, and its adaptation to twenty-first-century life in Oxford. Illustrated with archival material, portraits, and Masonic treasures, this unique book offers the history of a minor narrative with major implications, documenting the remarkable numbers of Oxford freemasons with distinguished careers in government, law, the army, and the church.
For more than three centuries, Oxford has served as a source of inspiration for fine illustrated books and engraved prints. These works hold an important place in the historical record of the city, showing its identity to be deeply rooted in history while also chronicling Oxford’s development through the architecture of its most beautiful college and university buildings.
With Oxford in Prints, Peter Whitfield has assembled a rich selection of more than seventy illustrations and prints that offer a portrait of Oxford before it became the modern city it is today. Seventeenth-century prints by David Loggan show the medieval origins of Oxford University already overlaid by Tudor and Stuart buildings. Eighteenth-century editions of the Oxford Almanack depict a city dominated by neoclassical ideas. By the nineteenth-century, illustrations in the Almanack had an increasingly romantic feel, with buildings against a natural background of the river, trees, and sky. Each illustration or print is accompanied by an insightful description, including salient historical features.
Oxford is one of the world’s great cities—a source of inspiration to generations of poets, novelists, journalists, and commentators who have visited or called it home. Be it praise or colorful invective, everyone, it seems, has something to say about the city and this slender volume—filled with wise, witty, and sometimes scandalous quotes—presents the full range of impressions it has made.
Oxford, “City of Dreaming Spires,” earns high marks from Hillaire Belloc, who writes that “there are few greater temptations on earth than to stay permanently at Oxford . . . and to read all the books in the Bodleian.” But it is also, according to Anthony Trollope, “the most dangerous place to which a young man can be sent.” And none other than Max Beerbohm blames it for making him insufferable.
For fans, foes, and those planning a trip to the city in the hopes of forming an opinion, this collection will be welcomed.
In 1566, Queen Elizabeth I visited Oxford for the first time. She toured the colleges, gave lectures, and attended a play in her honor at Christ Church. She was presented with a companion—a handbook made specifically for her and now fully reproduced as Queen Elizabeth's Book of Oxford.
Newly translated, the book's Latin verse is written in a conversational tone as a lively discussion between the revered Queen and a knowledgeable guide. The volume also includes exquisite pen-and-ink drawings of Oxford's most famous buildings and an illuminating introduction by Louise Durning that places the text in its proper historical context. As Durning relates, Queen Elizabeth's Book of Oxford served several purposes, the most important of which was Oxford's interest in the Queen's potential patronage of a new college. Although Elizabeth never honored the request, she was eventually honored as the "founder" of Jesus College.
Queen Elizabeth's Book of Oxford offers a glimpse into the process of patronage during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It will be treasured by scholars of Elizabethan history as well as by anyone interested in the historical development of universities around the world.
Since its foundation in 1860, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History has become a key center for scientific study, its much-loved building an icon for visitors from around the world. The museum now holds more than seven million scientific specimens, including five million insects, half a million fossil specimens, and half a million zoological specimens. It also holds an extensive collection of archival material relating to important naturalists such as Charles Darwin, William Jones, and James Charles Dale.
This lavishly illustrated book features highlights from the collections, ranging from David Livingstone’s tsetse fly specimens to Mary Anning’s ichthyosaur, and from crabs collected by Darwin during his voyage on the Beagle to the iconic Dodo, the only soft tissue specimen of the species in existence. Also featured are the first described dinosaur bones, found in a small Oxfordshire village, the Red Lady of Paviland (who was in fact a man who lived 29,000 years ago), and a meteorite from the planet Mars.
Each item tells a unique story about natural history, the history of science, collecting, or the museum itself. Rare & Wonderful offers unique insight into the extraordinary wealth of information and fascinating tales that can be gleaned from these collections.
The Blackwell Collections—the archive of the well-loved bookselling and publishing company—are full of surprises. There are warrior women no longer prepared to suffer the fate of a spellbound princess, scholarly apprentices giving themselves an Oxford education, and reluctant radicals publishing in protest against the authorities who sent so many to “certain death” in the Great War. Amid the many unknown authors the Blackwells published are famous names: J. R. R Tolkien, John Buchan, Wilfred Owen, John Betjeman, Dorothy L Sayers, Vera Brittain, Edith Sitwell, and Laurence Binyon, who is recollected whenever For the Fallen is read. But the memoirs, letters, and journals of “ordinary people” who worked for the family also deserve a hearing. The diary of Will King, a real-life Jude the Obscure, stands out. Its astonishing record of what he read and his mordant dissection of the texts amounts to a critique of English culture between 1910 and 1950. Together with the stories of three generations of B. H. Blackwells and their diverse associates, the book provides a panel of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century history far beyond Oxford.
Built between 1855 and 1860, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History is the extraordinary result of close collaboration between artists and scientists. The architect Benjamin Woodward consulted with two groups on the design and decoration of the building: a panel of Oxford scientists and dons, and the society of artists known as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The museum's decorative art was modeled on the Pre-Raphaelites' principle of meticulous observation of nature, itself indebted to science. The structure was an experiment in using architecture and art to communicate natural history, modern science, and natural theology. Temple of Science sets out the history of the campaign to build the museum before taking the reader on a tour of the art found in the museum itself. It looks at the façade and the central court, the natural history carvings and marble columns illustrating different geological strata, and the meticulously carved sculptures of influential scientists. With unique insights and lavish illustrations, Temple of Science tells the story of one of the most remarkable collaborations between scientists and artists in European art.
The University of Oxford is the third-oldest university in Europe and remains one of the greatest universities in the world. Institutions have waxed and waned over the centuries, but Oxford has always succeeded in reinventing itself to meet the demands of a new age.
This book offers a succinct illustrated account of the university’s colorful and controversial eight-hundred-year history, from medieval times through the Reformation and on to the nineteenth century, in which the foundations of the modern tutorial system were laid. It describes the extraordinary and influential people who shaped the development of the institution and helped to create today’s world-class research university.
Richly illustrated with archival material, prints, and portraits, this book explores how a university in a small provincial town rose to become one of the top universities in the world at the beginning of the twenty-first century.