PS5m donation helps Oxford’s Bodleian Library exhibit literary treasures

March 10th, 2008 - 3:08 pm ICT by admin  

London, March 10 (ANI): The earliest complete book written in English, Gregory the Great’s Pastoral Care, will be among British literary treasures that are set to go on public display at one of the sites belonging to the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, thanks to a five-million-pound donation.

The gift from Oxford publisher Julian Blackwell will go towards the creation of an exhibition hall named the Blackwell Hall, in recognition of the donation. It will form part of a 70million-pound redevelopment of the New Bodleian Library.

Also on display will be an embroidered handwritten book by Queen Elizabeth I.

The artefacts at the Bodleian Library, which has a copy of almost every book printed, are currently accessible only to a few scholars.

“Julian Blackwell’s magnificent donation to the Bodleian reflects the long established connections between these two institutions, the BBC quoted Richard Ovenden, keeper of special collections at the library, as saying.

“Not only are they neighbours on Oxford’s Broad Street, but for 130 years they have jointly engaged in projects which have both celebrated and preserved our global written heritage,” he added.

Among the artefacts held by the library are four original copies of the Magna Carta written in the 13th Century, and one of only eight Gutenberg Bibles.

The library also has many original handwritten texts of popular classics such as Frankenstein, as well as more than 10,000 medieval manuscripts.

“The Bodleian is unique. It not only has the largest and most important university collections in the world, but it is leading the development of cutting-edge information services which are so vital to academic research,” Blackwell said.

Margaret Hodge, minister for culture, media and sport will be attending an event on Saturday in honour of the library’s founder, Sir Thomas Bodley, when the donation will be formally announced. (ANI)

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