Bodleian Library, Oxford

Bodleian Library is one of the most popular and oldest libraries in Europe. Found in Catte Street, Oxford, Bodleian is constructed with three historic rooms; upper reading room, lower reading room, and the Duke Humfrey’s library. Currently, the library accommodates up to 64,000 readers, which is nearly a hundred times higher than when it was established. If you are a keen reader, it will take more than 600 lifetimes to finish getting the books at Bodleian Library. This library has over 13 million books and other printed items, including journals, past exam papers, subject & research guides, among others.

History of Bodleian Library

The library was established in the year 1320, just like a meeting room above the northern side of Mary the Virgin University Church. It continued to grow and received plenty of donations from Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester, and his young brother. Due to insufficient space, it was expanded later in 1488 above the Divinity school.

The library was further redeveloped by Thomas Bodley, a diplomat in Queen Elizabeth I’s court, who refurbished it, increased the collection of books and appointed a new librarian. In November 1602, it was officially opened. It continued receiving plenty of books, which opened doors for scholars across the globe.

Major Attractions

  1. Sheldonian Theatre

Sheldonian is a magical place with a spectacular design. Enjoy concerts, live performances, drinks, and snacks.

  1. History of Science Museum

Appears to be small, but the building is lovely with a broad collection of treasures that you fancy.

  1. Weston Library

A splendid library with free exhibitions and a wide variety of book collections and other printed items.

  1. New Theatre Oxford

It is one of the best theatres in Oxford featuring art decoration styling.

  1. Pitt River Museum

It is the favorite place with plenty of original artifacts, nicely arranged collection of jewelry, musical instruments, textiles, and many more.

  1. Salter’s steamers boat trips

Best known for offering top-class hospitality to visitors.

Activities carried out at Bodleian Library


The library is a perfect destination for exhibition and wedding events. It also offers a European environment suitable for both corporate and commercial events. It also works well for commercial filming and photography.

City walking

Explore Oxford’s iconic buildings and enjoy the streets named with famous politicians, scientists, and film stars.

Library tours

A chance to dive into nicely decorated rooms and enjoy the pleasing learning experience they offer!

Shop and cafe

The library offers a wide range of products in their shop and cafe, including exclusive library collections, drinks & snacks, library-inspired accessories, and more. They also provide online shopping.

Self Guided tour

It is a 45-minute audio-guided tour which makes it easier for you to explore the building. However, this is available for those above the age of 11.

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