This Weston Library refurbishment has three aims:
- to create high-quality storage for the Libraries' valuable special collections, which include the rare and unique manuscripts, books and maps that the Bodleian preserves for the international world of scholarship;
- to develop the Libraries' space for the support of advanced research;
- to expand public access to our great treasures through new exhibition galleries and other facilities (a selection of our most valuable special collections items which will be housed and exhibited in the Weston Library can be viewed on our Treasures online exhibition).
Key features of the refurbishment
- New front entry. A new entrance colonnade on the south side of the building off of Broad Street will provide easier street access. A new ground floor entrance hall will be created, acting as a central public space where scholars using the library and visitors to the public spaces will enter the building.
- Reading rooms. A suite of high-quality new and refurbished reading rooms to increase the capacity and improve facilities for researchers including a new reading room on top of the new upper stack providing wonderful views south across the city.
- Seminar rooms. A suite of seminar rooms to provide secure 'hands-on' teaching, masterclasses, and public seminars using special collections materials.
- Safeguarding collections. Significant improvements in fire safety and an overhaul of the climate control systems will provide the necessary fire protected and environmentally sound storage conditions for the Bodleian’s special collections.
- Visiting scholars. The Library intends to develop its academic programmes by introducing a new Visiting Scholars Centre. Scholars will work on the Library’s collections, whilst contributing to the research culture.
- Digital media centre. The New Bodleian project will deliver a state-of-the art facility for supporting digital scholarship.
- Exhibition galleries. The ground floor North wing will be adapted to contain exhibition galleries and flexible seminar spaces and will provide new opportunities for developing programmes of engagement with the general public, community groups, and others.
- Extending the public realm. A single storey gallery bridges over the ground floor space to create an elevated 'quadrangle within a quadrangle' – from the ground floor, visitors will be able to view the upper stack and appreciate the inner workings of an academic research library.
About the architects
- Architectural statement on New Bodleian remodelling (PDF 79KB)
- Wilkinson Eyre backgrounder (PDF 73KB)
- Jim Eyre's biography (PDF 75KB)
Detailed project information
Everything you need to know about the refurbishment including project objectives and architectural plans.
- Exhibition boards (PDF 14.7MB)