3 July 2007
Over one hundred members and guests attended the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Bodleian in the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford on Thursday 21 June. After the formal business of the meeting Professor Christopher Ricks, Professor of Poetry in the University of Oxford, and Warren Professor of Humanities, and Co-Director, Editorial Institute, Boston University, spoke.
Having been immensely active as an editor, Professor Ricks took as his subject ‘Of marring many books there is no end’. He began by saying: ‘Of making many books there is no end and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The same goes for marring them. Sometimes it is the author who mars his or her own book by insufficiently revising it before publication or inordinately revising it after publication…I want to talk today about editing and say something about examples of editing which very often have an Oxford base or basis, because of my years here, but largely because of the glory that is Oxford University Press and the traditions of editing within so many faculties here at Oxford..’
After thanking Professor Ricks for his fascinating and eloquent talk Dr Sarah Thomas (left), Bodley’s Librarian, reviewed the work of the Library during the past year and spoke of the plans for the future, the transformation of the New Bodleian into a state-of-the art special collections library with an exhibition space worthy of Oxford’s collections, and the intention to build on existing collections as well as expanding in all imaginable formats.
Members and guests then had an opportunity to see an exhibition of a selection of manuscripts and printed books purchased by, or with the assistance of the Friends, and to take tea in the Divinity School. Among items exhibited was one of a group of manuscripts in the hand of Sir Robert Filmer (1588?–1653), a political theorist (the philosopher John Locke, whose papers are also in the Bodleian, was Filmer’s most significant and vehement critic), and the working autograph manuscript of the ode ‘Laurus Cruentas’, 1713, which the composer William Croft (1678–1727) submitted and performed for his Oxford Doctor of Music (DMus) degree.
Friends of the Bodleian is a charitable organization whose object is the enrichment of the Library’s collections by providing an income for the purchase of manuscripts and printed books the Library would not otherwise be able to afford and by encouraging donations in kind. Membership is open to all by completing a membership form obtainable in the Library or by contacting the Friends’ Administrator, Bodleian Library, Oxford OX1 3BG, telephone 01865 277234, email firstname.lastname@example.org. See also www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/friends.