Fascinating facts

The largest library is the Bodleian Library (Old Library and Gladstone Link) with 702 reader seats.
The smallest library is the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine Library with 5 reader spaces.
The smallest book in our collection is 'Old King Cole' published by Gleniffer Press, which is 0.9mm high.
The longest item in our collection is a printed roll of the Bayeux Tapestry, which is over 7m long.
We have many unique books in our collection. One of the most recently acquired is The Troops.

The most expensive book in our collection is the Bay Psalm Book, which at $14.2m was the most expensive printed work ever sold. We didn’t pay that much for it though.

(You can buy a facsimile copy for £25 in our shop.)

The most we have paid for an item in our collection is £3,000 for Shakespeare's First Folio in 1905.

The top five most used journals in our collection are:

  1. Nature
  2. Science
  3. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA
  4. Journal of the American Chemical Society
  5. Cell
The most borrowed book last year was EU Law: Text, Cases and Materials by Paul P Craig, 5th Ed, 2011. All the top 5 most borrowed books that year are law books.
The most downloaded book from our collection in GoogleBooks in 2015 was Birds, Beasts and Flowers by D H Lawrence (First Edition, New York, 1923).
The top ten languages represented by the number of books in the collection are English, German, French, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Polish, and Hebrew.
The most popular item in the Bodleian Libraries Shops is a leather bookmark - 9,366 were bought last year.
The most common issues dealt with by the 22 Bodleian Libraries Conservators are detached spines, edge tears, loose pages, stuck pages, and consolidation of loose painted media.
Find out more about the history of the Bodleian Library.

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