17 April 2007
Visitors and readers coming to the historic centre of the Bodleian Library in Oxford now have access to a permanent welcome point just inside the main gate. Anyone entering the Library through the Great Gate, which leads to the Old Schools Quadrangle, the fifteenth-century Divinity School and Duke Humfrey’s Library, as well as to the Bodleian Shop and the Exhibition Room, will find a new specially constructed wooden lodge (see photo) where staff will be available all year round to give them information about the library, answer queries, give directions, or sell tickets for the audio and guided tours. The new lodge replaces the old summer-only outside visitor point.
Readers will also benefit from the new arrangements. Previously for much of the year the ‘Proscholium’, the open area giving access to the reading rooms, doubled up as a welcome area for visitors. Now readers will have much easier access to the Upper and Lower Reading Rooms and Duke Humfrey’s Library.
Sally Charleton, Head of Commercial Operations, said: ‘The Old Schools Lodge will mean we can speak with visitors at the beginning of their Bodleian experience and help them understand the site. It will also draw in visitors from Catte Street who can immediately see that there is something on offer for them and someone with whom they can speak to and ask any questions.’
More improvements for visitors will soon be available. The Bodleian Shop, which is now in the Proscholium, will reopen in June 2007 in one of the seventeenth-century paneled rooms in the Old Schools Quadrangle which were once used for University teaching. This will give more space for visitors and for display and storage, and will take advantage of the fine architecture of the building. See also http://www.bodleianshop.co.uk/
The Old Schools Lodge is open during normal opening hours for the historic areas of the Library, 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Saturday.
For maps of Oxford, including of the Old Bodleian site, see http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/guides/maps/oxmaps.htm