29 June 2009
Richard McCabe, Professor of English Language and Literature, University of Oxford and Fellow of Merton College was appointed the new Chairman of the Friends of the Bodleian (FOB) Council, the supporting organization of the Library. The appointment took place during the FOB Annual General Meeting held last Thursday, 25 June.
Professor McCabe takes over from Jon Stallworthy , Professor Emeritus of English, University of Oxford and Fellow and Acting President of Wolfson College. Professor Stallworthy chaired the FOB Council for the last 8 years. Under his leadership, the FOB assisted the Bodleian Library in making a number of notable acquisitions, including the medieval Arabic manuscript entitled ‘The Book of Curiosities of the Sciences’, the Sheldon tapestry map of Gloucestershire, the final working autograph of Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, the Abinger papers (with the manuscript of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein), Philip Larkin’s letters to Monica Jones, and most recently, the MS of the first opera in the English language, Cavalli’s Erismena.
Dr Chris Fletcher, Head of Western Manuscripts and member of the FOB Council said: ‘The Bodleian Library’s outstanding collections would be much diminished were it not for the great generosity of its many friends over the last 400 years. The Friends of the Bodleian continue this tradition, allowing us to purchase books and manuscripts and also to receive them as gifts, for the benefit of scholars now and in the future.’
Founded in 1925 and one of the oldest organisations of its kind, the Friends of the Bodleian work alongside the Bodleian on many important acquisitions, helping to provide funds for material that would otherwise be beyond the Library’s reach. The Friends enrich the Library's collections by encouraging donations and providing an income for the purchase of manuscripts and printed books. The Friends also help to preserve the Bodleian's priceless collections and explain their significance through lectures and a diverse selection of events.