28 May 2008
The Bodleian Library has received a donation of £25 million towards the redevelopment of the New Bodleian Library from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the largest gift ever made by the Foundation. The gift is the largest donation received to date as part of the Campaign for the University of Oxford. The campaign which is launched today has already raised £575 million and aims to raise a minimum of £1.25 billion.
The redevelopment will transform the New Bodleian Library into a major research centre and a significant new cultural centre, where scholars, citizens of Oxford and visitors to the city can view some of the University’s greatest treasures and gain insights into the research activities of the University. With spaces for exhibition galleries, lectures, and seminars, the Library will become an even more active partner in the intellectual life of the community.
The fundraising campaign for the redevelopment of the New Bodleian Library building was launched at the beginning of March with a £5 million donation from Julian Blackwell. Coupled with matching funds from Oxford University Press, the Garfield Weston Foundation grant will ensure the security and long-term preservation of its world-class collections.
Dr. Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian and Director of Oxford University libraries said: ‘With this extraordinary gift from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the New Bodleian Library transformation moves from dream to reality. I am overwhelmed by the steadfast commitment of the Weston family to open up the wonders of the Bodleian Library to curious and inquiring minds of all ages. The Weston family continues the tradition of Sir Thomas Bodley in supporting access by the republic of the learned and expand this access to learning public.’
A spokesperson for the Garfield Weston Foundation said: ‘Our Foundation has long sought to support centres of excellence. A decade ago we assisted the restoration of Oxford’s Old Bodleian Library. Today we have a chance to help transform the New Bodleian Library, which we hope will become a home to inspiring world-class collections for future generations.’
The Campaign for the University of Oxford aims to sustain and enhance Oxford's international reputation and provide security in a world of uncertain state funding and growing global competition.