Newly refurbished Proscholium reopens to the public

19 February 2009

Proscholium_01_smallThe entrance to the Old Bodleian, known as the Proscholium, reopened to staff, readers and visitors on Monday, 16 February, after a six week closure for refurbishment.

The newly renovated Proscholium provides a more welcoming space for all readers and visitors. There have been a number of improvements which enhance both the area’s functionality and its architecture. New bespoke desks designed by Donald Insall Associates have replaced the 60s furniture while book detection devices have been installed. The glass entrance doors were also replaced with powered doors to improve access. The ceiling has been cleaned and the architecture can now be fully appreciated. Much of the complicated ‘behind the scenes’ work of this project has concentrated on upgrading and improving the electrical, data and security infrastructure.

During March, new access control gates will be installed. A new exhibition case is being ordered, and a prototype lighting scheme is being looked at.

The Proscholium refurbishment was made possible thanks to a grant from the Wolfson Foundation CURL Libraries Programme.

The Proscholium was constructed in 1610-12 to create a new entrance for the 15th-century Divinity School and at the same time a new room, Arts End, was built above it to provide more space for the Bodleian Library. For 300 years the Proscholium served as an ante-room to the Divinity School, until 1968 when it became the main entrance hall for the Old Library. For a short period, it was also the site of the Bodleian Shop which relocated to a more spacious room across the Old Bodleian quadrangle in 2007.
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