Founded on this day in 1602 was the Bodleian Library, named after its founder Sir Thomas Bodley, he donated valuable book collections and also left funds for its maintenance in his will. It is now used as the main research library for the University of Oxford. It is one of the oldest libraries in Europe and also one of the biggest, with 11 million items on 117 miles of shelving.
Many traditions are still to this day followed, such as no books are to be borrowed or taken out of the library, even King Charles I was refused permission to borrow a book in 1645. Also before entrance to the library new readers are required to sign or recite a formal declaration.
The library is not just home to a vast collection of books it also houses 1,200,000 maps and 20,000 atlases, one of these being the “Gough Map” – the oldest surviving road map of Great Britain!
‘The Bod’ isn’t just magnificent because of the items it stores, it is architecturally very breathtaking. There is nothing not to be proud of with this building, whether you enjoy learning something new or just appreciate beautiful things.
Image credit: interbeat