|Duke Humphrey's Library|
But first, the Bodleian. The Bodleian Library is the main research library for Oxford University. It was opened to scholars in 1602 by Sir Thomas Bodley. Bodley built this library to house the collection from Oxford's earlier library that was destroyed. This collection was made of 300 books from Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, King Henry V's younger brother and the first patron of the library.
The Bodleian is the oldest part of the University of Oxford and houses 30 million books. It continues to be a working research and reference library. As we passed through the security desk to walk up the stairs to the library, we were told to put our cameras away, as photos were not allowed of the library itself. We started up the stairs and passed many bulletin boards displaying the happenings around campus, large reading room, and group study rooms, before making our way to where the books are housed. Let me just say that this library was absolutely gorgeous. Remember the library used in the first Harry Potter books (the restricted section)? This was it!
One of the things I found most interesting about the Bodleian is the fact that, not only is it so large, but it is so incredibly old. Our guide passed around a few of the books in the collection for us to look at, and it just amazed me that I was able to touch a book that was so old and fragile.
Students who attend the University of Oxford must take an oath in order to be granted privilege to use the library. This oath is typically said orally, but recently students can sign an agreement. The oath is below:
I hereby undertake not to remove from the Library, nor to mark, deface, or injure in any way, any volume, document or other object belonging to it or in its custody; not to bring into the Library, or kindle therein, any fire or flame, and not to smoke in the Library; and I promise to obey all rules of the Library.
After the Bodleian Library, we visited Christ Church College. Christ Church is where one of the main staircases of Harry Potter was filmed, and what the Great Hall was fashioned after. Not only was the interior of this college gorgeous, but the gardens were magnificent. See the photos below for proof!