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The Weston Library is part of the
Bodleian Library The Bodleian Library () is the main research library A research library is a library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housi ...

Bodleian Library
, the main
research library A research library is a library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order to meet the user's needs ...
of the
University of Oxford The University of Oxford is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the List of oldest universit ...
, reopened within the former New Bodleian Library building on the corner of
Broad StreetBroad Street may refer to: United Kingdom *Broad Street railway station (England), in London *Broad Street (ward), in London *Broad Street, Birmingham *Broad Street, Bristol *Broad Street, Oxford *Broad Street, Reading *Broad Street, Suffolk, hamle ...

Broad Street
and
Parks Road Parks Road is a road in Oxford, England, with several Oxford University colleges along its route. It runs north–south from the Banbury Road and Norham Gardens at the northern end, where it continues into Bradmore Road, to the junction with Broa ...
in central
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' u ...

Oxford
,
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
.


History

From 1937 to 1940, Sir
Giles Gilbert Scott Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (9 November 1880 – 8 February 1960) was a British architect known for his work on the New Bodleian Library, Cambridge University Library, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, Battersea Power Station, Liverpool Cathedral, and d ...
worked on the New Bodleian Library, in
Broad Street, Oxford Broad Street is a wide street in central Oxford, England, just north of the former city wall. The street is known for its bookshops, including the original Blackwell's bookshop at number 50, located here due to the University of Oxford. Among res ...

Broad Street, Oxford
. It is not generally considered his finest work. Needing to provide storage for millions of books without building higher than the surrounding structures, Scott devised a construction going deep into the earth, behind two elevations no higher than those around them. His biographer A. S. G. Butler commented, "In an attempt to be polite to these – which vary from late Gothic to
Victorian Victorian or Victorians may refer to: 19th century * Victorian era, British history during Queen Victoria's 19th-century reign ** Victorian architecture ** Victorian house ** Victorian decorative arts ** Victorian fashion ** Victorian literature ...
Tudor Tudor most commonly refers to: * House of Tudor, English royal house of Welsh origins ** Tudor period, a historical era in England coinciding with the rule of the Tudor dynasty Tudor may also refer to: Architecture * Tudor architecture, the fi ...
– Scott produced a not very impressive
neo-Jacobean The Jacobethan or Jacobean Revival architectural style is the mixed national Renaissance revival , seat of the Rothschild family, 1874 Renaissance Revival architecture (sometimes referred to as "Neo-Renaissance") is a group of 19th century Re ...
design". A later biographer,
Gavin Stamp Gavin Mark Stamp (15 March 194830 December 2017) was a British writer, television presenter and architectural historian. Education Stamp was educated at Dulwich College in South London from 1959 to 1967 as part of the "Dulwich Experiment", then a ...
, praises the considerable technical achievement of keeping the building low in scale by building underground, but agrees that aesthetically the building is not among Scott's most successful designs.
Nikolaus Pevsner Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner (30 January 1902 – 18 August 1983) was a German-British history of art, art historian and history of architecture, architectural historian best known for his monumental 46-volume series of county-by-county ...
dismisses it as "neither one thing nor the other". The building was constructed of
Bladon Bladon is a village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public administration is ...
stone with
Clipsham Clipsham is a small village in the county of Rutland Rutland () is a Counties of England, county in the East Midlands of England, bounded to the west and north by Leicestershire, to the northeast by Lincolnshire and the southeast by No ...
dressings and was opened by King George VI. The Rockefeller Foundation donated 60% of the £1 million cost for the new library building. It included administrative and reading rooms, together with an 11-storey bookstack beneath the building. This was connected with the original Bodleian Library underground by a conveyor belt system for books. It is still possible to walk underground between the Radcliffe Camera and the new library building. In the early 21st century, the building was rebuilt internally to the design of WilkinsonEyre behind its original façade to provide improved storage facilities for rare and fragile material, as well as better facilities for readers and visitors. It reopened to readers as the Weston Library on 21 March 2015. Richard Ovenden (Bodley's Librarian) awarded the Bodley Medal to Stephen Hawking, Professor Stephen Hawking and David Attenborough, Sir David Attenborough as part of the official opening ceremony. The transformed library has been generally well-received, being described as a "hey presto moment for the Oxford, city" by ''The Independent'' newspaper. In July 2016, the building was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize for excellence in architecture.


Gallery

File:Weston Library Exterior by John Cairns 20.3.15-67.jpg, The Weston Library main entrance on Broad Street File:Weston Library Opening by John Cairns 20.3.15-139.jpg, Richard Ovenden, Stephen Hawking, Professor Stephen Hawking and David Attenborough, Sir David Attenborough at the official opening of the Weston Library in 2015 File:Weston Library Blackwell Hall by John Cairns 6.7.15-61.jpg, The Blackwell Hall inside the library File:Weston Library exterior by John Cairns 6.7.15-3.jpg, External view of the gift shop File:Weston Library Blackwell Hall cafe by John Cairns 6.7.15-123.jpg, View of the cafe


See also

*
Bodleian Library The Bodleian Library () is the main research library A research library is a library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housi ...

Bodleian Library


References


External links


Official website
{{DEFAULTSORT:Weston Library 2015 establishments in England Libraries established in 2015 Library buildings completed in 1940 Libraries of the University of Oxford Bodleian Library