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Monday 21 January 2019 – A Walking Tour of Some Oxford College Libraries with Alastair Lack

Booking Months: October and November 
                     Cost: to be advised

We shall meet at Jesus College Lodge at 1.45 pm. The Fellows’ Library is a glorious galleried room built in 1676-1677. It contains bookcases that are decorated with strap work dating from around 1628, as well as around 11,000 antiquarian printed volumes.
We shall then move to Merton College. The Library here is one of the earliest libraries in England and the oldest academic library in the world still in continuous daily use. The oldest part known as The Upper Library is on the first floor of two orthogonal ranges of buildings which were built around 1373 as part of the completion of Mob Quad, one of the first collegiate quadrangles. Because Merton will only allow 10 people per visit to the library, Alastair will take the other 10 for a visit to the college and the chapel and then swap the two groups over.
Our last port of call will be Christ Church College Library. The first library was established in 1562 and the books, of which around 140 remain, were originally chained to wooden lecterns. The new library was designed in the 18th century. The building was started in 1717 and was not completed until 1772. The books were housed on the first floor to avoid damp and flooding while the ground floor was designed as a loggia, but the protracted construction led to the enclosure of the ground floor as a picture gallery.