Alice's Day at the Bodleian Library

6 July 2007

cardsAs part of the events marking 1,000 years of Oxfordshire, the very first Alice’s Day will be celebrated this Saturday, 7 July 2007. The Bodleian Library is putting on public display the earliest editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland including the very rare first printing of 1865, which was withdrawn because John Tenniel, the illustrator, was unhappy with the reproduction of his drawings. However, Lewis Carroll had already signed 20 copies for his friends. After the book was reprinted the next year, Carroll asked those who had received presentation copies to return them and they were sent to children’s hospitals and homes.

The Bodleian's copy of the original edition is inscribed by Lewis Carroll for M. Coombe, and with the name of St. Raphael's Home for Sick Children. It was presented to the library in 1986 by Roger Lancelyn Green as a gesture of support for the appeal to acquire the Opie Collection of Children’s Literature for the Bodleian. This is the story of how it passed through the hands of these owners before coming to the Bodleian Library.


Other highlights of the display are The Nursery Alice of 1890 with its coloured Tenniel drawings and Arthur Rackham’s illustrations and two posters from a set of 6 based on Tenniel’s designs by J. MacFarlane.


The display is part of a self-guided trail through the city which includes performances at the Oxford Playhouse and the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and talks at the Ashmolean Museum and the Museum of Natural History.


The Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland display will be open from 19 June 2007 to 7 July 2007, Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. in the Exhibition Room, Old Schools Quadrangle, Broad Street, Oxford. Admission free.


More details about the display can be found at


More details about the Alice’s Day events can be found at


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