24 March 2010
Oxford University’s world-famous Bodleian Libraries today displayed plans to upgrade space within the central Bodleian site which will enable greater direct access to books, improved services and access for library readers and visitors with limited mobility. The plans include:
- Refurbishment of the Underground Bookstore, under Radcliffe Square, into two floors of openstack library space for readers and opening up the tunnel (to be known as the Gladstone Link) that connects the Radcliffe Camera and the Old Bodleian main building.
- Installing a platform lift between the Underground Bookstore and the Lower Radcliffe Camera Reading Room to provide access for disabled readers and to facilitate book deliveries.
- Installing a lift in the Old Bodleian to accommodate passengers and to transport books.
- Adjusting the paving level in the Old Schools Quadrangle to facilitate book delivery and disabled access.
Dr Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian, said: ‘These are exciting initiatives, developed as part of a coordinated estates programme. They will help to equip our most venerable and treasured Grade 1 buildings for the 21st century. The development of the ‘Gladstone Link’ allows us to breathe new life into our Underground Bookstore space and open up the famous tunnel connecting the Radcliffe Camera to the Old Bodleian of which generations of Oxford students have heard but to which they have never had access. We are also pleased to improve access to some of Oxford’s most iconic buildings for readers and visitors with limited mobility.’
Planning permission and Listed Building Consent will be applied for in early April.