What's on

What’s on at the Bodleian Libraries brings together the wide-ranging activities taking place in the Libraries. Whether you visit an exhibition or a display, attend an event or a lecture, go on a guided tour, or visit our Shop, you will find an opportunity to discover our distinguished collections, magnificent buildings and informative programmes.

Six-week linocut workshop

Courses

16 January 2019 — 20 February 2019

Linocut printmaking using the Bodleian’s hand-operated presses. This course will enable you to work on a linocut prints, in black and white or colour, working…

Love and the Soul workshop

Workshops; Special events

9 February 2019

Hand-print a Valentine card for your own Cupid or Psyche, and learn about the ancient Roman story that inspired artists from the Renaissance to William…

Jewish Life in Early Modern Europe: The Origins of the Oppenheim Collection

Lectures and talks; Free events

21 January 2019

The launch the book Prince of the Press: How One Collector Built History's Most Enduring and Remarkable Jewish Library (Yale University Press). David Oppenheim (1664-1736),…

Art in the Library: Tania Kovats on her latest commission The Space of Reading

Lectures and talks; Free events

29 January 2019

Acclaimed contemporary British artist, Tania Kovats, will discuss her latest work The Space of Reading at the Weston Library. After completing her MA at the…

Thinking 3D: Byrne-Bussey Marconi Lecture

Lectures and talks; Free events

21 March 2019

Thinking 3D is an interdisciplinary exploration of the concept of three-dimensionality and its impact on the arts and sciences, co-investigated by Dr Laura Moretti and…

Babel: Adventures in Translation

Exhibitions; Free events

15 February 2019 — 2 June 2019

Babel: Adventures in Translation takes visitors beyond the ancient myth of the Tower of Babel and society's quest for a universal language to explore the…

Thinking 3D: Leonardo to the present

Exhibitions; Free events

21 March 2019 — 9 February 2020

For centuries, artists and scientists have wrestled with how to convey three-dimensional objects on the page. Using some of the Bodleian Libraries’ finest books, manuscripts,…

Love and the soul

Displays; Free events

5 January 2019 — 10 March 2019

This display will explore the rich inspiration that the delightful second-century Latin love-story of Cupid and Psyche by Apuleius has provided for book-illustrators since the…

Thinking inside the box

Displays; Free events

19 January 2019 — 17 February 2019

A display of boxes, bags, and satchels used for carrying books at different times and places – inspired by the Bodleian's recent acquisition of a…

British comics: frame by frame

Displays; Free events

23 February 2019 — 28 April 2019

Join us to explore the evolution of the British comic, from graphic images of apocalypse in medieval block books to the anarchy of V for…

A story in stone and bone

Displays; Free events

16 March 2019 — 12 May 2019

Brought to life through the writing and drawings of the antiquaries John Aubrey and William Stukeley, the story of Stonehenge continues to unfold today through…

The conservation of Japanese collections at Bodleian Libraries

Lectures and talks; Friends of the Bodleian

15 January 2019

Learn about the conservation of unique Japanese items such as Naraehon, a Japanese genre of lavishly-illustrated literature from the fifteenth-eighteenth centuries. This lecture includes a…

Spoils of the secularization: Monastic music sources in the Bodleian Library

Lectures and talks; Friends of the Bodleian

14 February 2019

Learn about monastic music making in an era of political change and religious upheaval. This talk will explore a selection of chant books, musical fragments…

In Pursuit of a Prince: Archival research into the life of Albert

Lectures and talks; Friends of the Bodleian

25 March 2019

Distinguished historian, critic, commentator Andrew N Wilson has drawn upon manuscripts, rare books and archives for many of his distinguished biographies. In this talk he…

Library Lates: Babel

Free events; Special events

8 March 2019

As Brexit leads some to fear isolationism, join us for an interactive celebration of languages and cultures at the Weston Library. This Library Late event…

Art in the Library: The open book

Workshops; Free events

26 January 2019

Inspired by the painted panels of Duke Humfrey’'s Library ceiling, Tania Kovats has created a new artwork at the threshold of the Weston Library. This…

Thinking inside the box - activity day

Workshops; Free events

2 February 2019

Precious books need protection, particularly in transit, so intricate - or robustly practical - boxes were created to carry books across cultures. This activity day…

Connect with comics

Workshops; Free events

30 March 2019

Join us on a journey that charts the evolution of the British Comic, from the innocent humour of childhood classics to the subversive wit of…

Talking Maps: cartographic conversations from the Bodleian’s forthcoming exhibition

Lectures and talks; Free events

24 January 2019

The 26th annual series of the Oxford Seminars in Cartography will take place in the Lecture Theatre of the Weston Library. There will be refreshments…

Manuscripts from German-speaking lands

Lectures and talks; Free events

19 March 2019

This symposium marks the launch of a digital collaboration between the Bodleian Libraries and the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany. Speakers will include: On manuscripts…

Talking Maps

Exhibitions; Free events

5 July 2019 — 8 March 2020

Every map tells a story. Talking Maps is a celebration of maps and what they tell us about the places they depict and the people…

The D F McKenzie Lecture - learning to read: linking biology and culture via cognition

Lectures and talks; Free events

7 February 2019

Writing systems are cultural inventions that have evolved fairly recently, yet our capacity to read is rooted in our biology. Cognitive architectures developed for other…

Wedding Showcase at the Bodleian Library

Free events; Special events

23 February 2019

You are warmly invited to join us for an evening with friends, family and partners at the Bodleian Library showcase. Take in the surrounding arches…

Shikshapatri viewing

Exhibitions; Displays; Free events

16 February 2019 — 17 February 2019

Shikshapatri is a sanskrit manuscript, written by Shree Swaminarayan, founder of Swaminarayan Hinduism, and outlines moral and spiritual codes for everyday life. These codes were…

Rivers and ice: Early Modern maps of the far North

Lectures and talks; Free events

6 June 2019

The 26th annual series of the Oxford Seminars in Cartography will take place in the Lecture Theatre of the Weston Library. There will be refreshments…

Six-week letterpress course

Courses; Workshops

30 April 2019 — 11 June 2019

Design and print workshop using the Bodleian's hand-operated presses in the Bodleian Library. This course will enable you to set and print a short text…

The Paradox of Translation

Lectures and talks; Free events

25 April 2019

Translation is all around us, changing words into other words, creating a huge explosion of different nuances and meanings. Translation is also a particular discipline…

Translating Multilingual Britain

Lectures and talks; Free events

8 May 2019

As the UK wrestles with its political and cultural identity in the current world, its linguistic identity seems increasingly homogeneous and exclusively English. Yet the…

The life and times of a dying language: the story of Istro-Romanian and its speakers

Lectures and talks; Free events

22 May 2019

Istro-Romanian is a nearly extinct language spoken in Croatia, and once more widely in the Balkans. It is related to Romanian but became separated from…

Make a hand-printed book in five days

Courses; Workshops

20 July 2019 — 26 July 2019

Design and print workshop WitH five days of instruction in the Bodleian's printing workshop, you will design, type-set, illustrate and print your own booklet using…

Six-week linocut workshop

Courses

1 May 2019 — 5 June 2019

Linocut printmaking using the Bodleian’s hand-operated presses. This course will enable you to work on a linocut prints, in black and white or colour, working…

Weaving our heritage: the conservation, scientific analysis, and display of the Sheldon Tapestry Maps (1590's)

Free events; Special events

28 March 2019

The Sheldon Tapestry Maps for Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire are woven in wool and silk, and are fine examples of cartography and decorative art…

White Rose: Writing and Resistance

Displays; Free events

18 May 2019 — 7 July 2019

In the early 1940s, five students and their professor secretly wrote and distributed leaflets calling on Germans to resist Hitler. This display explores how the…

Lunar: We Look to the Moon

Displays; Free events

13 July 2019 — 15 September 2019

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first crewed mission to land on the Moon (20 July 1969). Come and explore humanity’s study of, and…

Oxford's stone heads: history and mysteries

Displays; Free events

4 May 2019 — 21 July 2019

350 years of heritage explored through three generations of Broad Street’s famous sculptures. Follow their journeys and discover the myths behind their identities. Understand how…

The contents of the book go up to heaven: Bodleian fragments from the Cairo Genizah

Free events; Friends of the Bodleian

24 May 2019

Books and written documents have been an integral part of Jewish liturgy, part of intellectual and of daily life in the Middle Ages but the…

The Shelleys and Translation

Displays; Free events

8 March 2019 — 10 March 2019

A small display of original documents showing Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley's own adventures in translation. Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm Saturday 9am-4.30pm…

Oxford Literary Festival at the Bodleian

Lectures and talks; Special events

30 March 2019

During the Oxford Literary Festival special events will be taking place in and around the Bodleian Libraries, highlights include. Type-setting and printing on the Bodleian’s…

FT Weekend at the Bodleian

Lectures and talks; Special events

6 April 2019

FT Weekend and the Bodleian Libraries present a day of masterclasses and live lectures at the Weston Library. Events include: Ruskin Today: How a Victorian…

Before the portolan charts: lost maps of the sea in the Fatimid Book of Curiosities

Lectures and talks; Free events

23 May 2019

This talk will examine the cartographical representation of Mediterranean maritime spaces in the recently discovered Fatimid Book of Curiosities , written circa 1020- 1050 and…

Galician literature - literatures of multilingual Europe

Lectures and talks; Free events

15 May 2019

This is a mini-series of lectures offering an introduction to lesser-known European literatures (Galician, Portuguese and Lithuanian) and an alternative perspective on creative multilingualism from…

Portuguese literature - literatures of multilingual Europe

Lectures and talks; Free events

22 May 2019

This is a mini-series of lectures offering an introduction to lesser-known European literatures (Galician, Portuguese and Lithuanian) and an alternative perspective on creative multilingualism from…

Lithuanian literature - literatures of multilingual Europe

Lectures and talks; Free events

29 May 2019

This is a mini-series of lectures offering an introduction to lesser-known European literatures (Galician, Portuguese and Lithuanian) and an alternative perspective on creative multilingualism from…

Talk and reading from Greece: biography of a modern nation

Lectures and talks; Free events

3 May 2019

Book-launch, talk and reading from Greece: biography of a modern nation .…

Victorian Oxford through the Stereoscope

Free events; Special events

27 April 2019

Join photo historians for an activity day exploring Victorian Oxford and the wonders of 3D vision. Find out what historical photos can reveal, make your…

Set in Stone?

Free events; Special events

18 May 2019

Uncover the history and mysteries of the three generations of Oxford’s Sheldonian Heads. They have been called the Emperors, the Philosophers, and the Apostles, but…

Library Lates: Thinking 3D

Free events; Special events

12 June 2019

How did humans first learn to communicate a three-dimensional idea on the two-dimensional page? What can we learn from past attempts by great thinkers like…

'Medieval libraries of Great Britain' - The Lyell Lectures 2019 (1)

Lectures and talks; Free events

30 April 2019

LECTURE SERIES: Libraries and books in medieval England: the role of libraries in a changing book economy The histories of libraries in medieval England offer…

English medieval library catalogues - The Lyell Lectures 2019 (2)

Lectures and talks; Free events

2 May 2019

LECTURE SERIES: Libraries and books in medieval England: the role of libraries in a changing book economy The histories of libraries in medieval England offer…

Library books and personal books - The Lyell Lectures 2019 (3)

Lectures and talks; Free events

7 May 2019

LECTURE SERIES: Libraries and books in medieval England: the role of libraries in a changing book economy The histories of libraries in medieval England offer…

Turnover in libraries - The Lyell Lectures 2019 (4)

Lectures and talks; Free events

9 May 2019

LECTURE SERIES: Libraries and books in medieval England: the role of libraries in a changing book economy The histories of libraries in medieval England offer…

Growth, competition, stability, loss, renewal - The Lyell Lectures 2019 (5)

Lectures and talks; Free events

14 May 2019

LECTURE SERIES: Libraries and books in medieval England: the role of libraries in a changing book economy The histories of libraries in medieval England offer…

Decay and closure of libraries - The Lyell Lectures 2019 (6)

Lectures and talks; Free events

16 May 2019

LECTURE SERIES: Libraries and books in medieval England: the role of libraries in a changing book economy The histories of libraries in medieval England offer…

Seeing the unseen: how do astronomers perceive the universe in the 21st century?

Lectures and talks; Free events

27 June 2019

The traditional image of the astronomer peering through the eyepiece of a telescope and recording data is badly dated. Modern astronomy makes use, not only…

Thinking of Leonardo da Vinci, 500 years on

Lectures and talks; Free events

25 July 2019

For over five hundred years Leonardo da Vinci has earned praise as one of the great thinkers of all-time. As a painter, engineer, natural philosopher,…

Explore the floor

Free events; Special events

9 May 2019

Join geologists Philip Powell and Nina Morgan on a guided geological walk to explore the fascinating geology and fossils on show in the floor of…

People of Letters workshop

Workshops; Free events

16 May 2019

An informal discussion on how we access information about and by historic writers of colour in our nations' archives. People of Letters is the first…

Rob Francis creative writing walking tour

Lectures and talks; Free events

1 June 2019

Psychogeographic Writing Workshop inspired by Evelyn Waugh’s Oxford Join poet, writer and academic R.M.Francis for this one-off Psychogeographic writing workshop and walking tour. Rob will…

Radical Business? Business and the contest over social norms

Conferences & symposia; Free events

28 June 2019

This one-day symposium at the Weston Library brings together an interdisciplinary group of speakers to offer insights into how business has acted as a radical…

'My Place': drop-in creative writing and printing workshop

Family events; Free events

1 June 2019

Drop in and join Participants will be encouraged to design and write their own personalised postcards, reflecting on the thoughts, feelings, memories and emotions evoked…

Time for Alice

Family events; Free events

6 July 2019

Join us to celebrate Alice's Day at the Weston Library drop-in printing, mini book-making, and a range of lectures. Drop-in Activities (Weston Library): Brian Sibley…

The Gough Map of Great Britain: Can a 600-year-old map reveal any new secrets?

Lectures and talks; Free events

31 July 2019

Many names and soubriquets have been attributed to the medieval Gough Map over the centuries, but new research made possible by recent scientific advances is…

Defying Hitler: The White Rose Resistance Group

Lectures and talks; Free events

26 June 2019

In 1943 five students and a professor at the University of Munich were arrested, tried, and executed. They were members of The White Rose (Die…

Authorship, language and textual pathology: linguistic changes in Iris Murdoch's informal writings

Lectures and talks; Free events

12 July 2019

Iris Murdoch's profound and well-documented late life cognitive decline was caused by the accumulation of amyloid plaques and tau tangles in her brain: the molecular…

Oxford Sorolla Day

Free events; Special events

1 July 2019

The first collaboration between the Bodleian Libraries and the National Gallery will see top experts from across Europe discuss the life and work of Spain’s…

Shakespeare in the Quad

Performances; Special events

23 July 2019 — 28 July 2019

Firmly established as an unmissable highlight in Oxford's cultural calender, Shakespeare’s Globe's Touring Ensemble returns to the glorious setting of the Bodleian Library with a…

Talking Maps: Cartographic conversations from the Bodleian’s exhibition

Lectures and talks; Free events

23 September 2019

In this talk, Nick Millea, Bodleian Map Librarian, will navigate through some of the highlights of Talking Maps and the rationale behind the exhibition –…

War Without Glamour: Emily Hobhouse's peace activism, 1899-1926

Displays; Free events

21 September 2019 — 24 November 2019

Newly-donated papers at the Bodleian Library are showcased to tell the story of Emily Hobhouse’s lifelong commitment to revealing the devastating impact of war on…

Sacred Scripts of Ethiopia and Eritrea Activity Day

Family events; Free events

27 July 2019

Over the past year, members of the Ethiopian and Eritrean communities have worked with Bodleian Libraries staff to curate a display of some of the…

Shikshapatri display

Exhibitions; Displays; Free events

1 June 2019 — 1 June 2020

Shikshapatri is a sanskrit manuscript, written by Shree Swaminarayan, founder of Swaminarayan Hinduism, and outlines moral and spiritual codes for everyday life. These codes were…

Languages of God: sacred scripts of Ethiopia and Eritrea

Displays; Free events

27 July 2019 — 13 October 2019

Ge’ez is one of the world’s ancient languages and is still used in the churches of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Members of Ethiopian and Eritrean communities…

Self-publish Saturday: zine-making workshop

Workshops; Free events

24 August 2019

Bring images to collage and a favourite text that you’d like to turn into a self-published eight-page mini zine. There are two bookable slots available…

Franciscus Junius' and Friends' contributions to Old Frisian Studies

Lectures and talks; Free events

12 July 2019

Fransciscus Junius' interest in Old Germanic languages included Old Frisian, as is reflected in the scope of the Junius Collection in the Bodleian Library. Dr…

Lunar: We Look to the Moon Activity Day

Free events; Special events

20 July 2019

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with the Bodleian Libraries. Find out how and why humans study the moon, and what…

Oxford Open Doors at the Bodleian Libraries

Free events; Special events

14 September 2019

Oxford Preservation Trust and the University of Oxford organise the annual Oxford Open Doors event every September. There are various activities taking place for Open…

Chaucer's World: sixth form study day

Workshops; Special events

14 March 2018

An unique opportunity for sixth form students to experience Oxford University teaching and explore Chaucer and his world, with a day at the Bodleian Library…

Six-week letterpress course

Courses

17 January 2018

Design and print workshop using the Bodleian's hand-operated presses in the Old Bodleian Library. This course will enable you to set and print a short…

Reassembling the university: the idea of a university in a digital age

Lectures and talks; Free events

5 February 2018

In times of deep economic and political uncertainty there is a pressing need to revisit the constellations of concepts grounding the idea of a university.…

The illuminators' craft

Lectures and talks; Free events

28 February 2018

The use of glimmering gold and pricey pigments was undoubtedly the most eye-catching element available to the craftspeople involved in the graphic design of the…

Medieval graffiti: reading the writing on the wall?

Lectures and talks; Free events

24 January 2018

Today most forms of graffiti are regarded as destructive, as anti-social, and certainly not something that we should encourage or welcome on our historic buildings.…

Inky fingers

Family events

15 February 2018

Family printing workshop: discover type and printing the old-fashioned way. Print a keepsake using hand-operating printing presses.…

Inky fingers

Family events

5 April 2018

Family printing workshop: discover type and printing the old-fashioned way. Print a keepsake using hand-operating printing presses.…

Pop-ups & paper engineering workshop

Workshops

19 January 2018

This workshop, with celebrated book artist Paul Johnson, imagines how medieval bookmakers might create a book using today's paper engineering methods. Attendees will first explore…

The King and 'I': Alfred and the Alfredian Project

Lectures and talks; Free events

7 February 2018

The Preface to the Pastoral Care (Bodleian MS. Hatton 20), long attributed to King Alfred (d. 899), surveys the power of earlier kings and the…

Linocut one-day course 

Workshops

3 March 2018

Learn to make a linocut print, from a blank sheet of paper to glorious poster, in one day. Take inspiration from the designers of medieval…

Isabella Bird's photographic journal of travels through China

Free events; Friends of the Bodleian

27 February 2018

Isabella Bird was one of the most remarkable travel writers in the Victorian age and the first woman to be elected Fellow of the Royal…

The mystery surrounding a bust of James Gibbs in the Radcliffe Camera

Free events; Friends of the Bodleian

13 February 2018

The Radcliffe Camera holds two marble busts of its architect, James Gibbs. One is by an unknown sculptor, and some doubt that it is really…

Library Lates: Designing English

Free events; Special events

23 February 2018

Meet at the Bodleian after dark to discover the first, fearless English graphic designers. How do you make a book from a sheep? When does…

Making the most of digitized images: a IIIF workshop

Workshops; Free events

26 January 2018

Learn how to use free tools to make the most of digitized library and museum images with the International Image Interoperability Framework . Want to…

Walter Benington: photographic portraits 1914-1922

Displays; Free events

20 January 2018 — 25 March 2018

A display of Walter Benington's photographic portraits, which include leading members of Oxford and Cambridge Universities as well as renowned figures such as Sir Arthur…

Sappho to Suffrage: women who dared

Exhibitions; Free events

6 March 2018 — 24 February 2019

Pirates and poets; suffragettes and explorers - this exhibition celebrates the achievements of women who dared to do the unexpected. Sappho to Suffrage showcases some…

Six-week letterpress course

Courses; Workshops

25 April 2018 — 6 June 2018

Design and print workshop using the Bodleian's hand-operated presses in the Bodleian Library. This course will enable you to set and print a short text…

A Renaissance royal wedding

Displays; Free events

17 March 2018 — 13 May 2018

Marking the 500th anniversary of a lavish Renaissance royal wedding, this small display explores the surprising Italian-Polish connections created by the marriage of Bona Sforza…

What happened to wireless?

Lectures and talks; Free events

6 March 2018

The term 'wireless' has very different meanings today to what it meant in the early twentieth century. Today, it connotes mobility, flexibility, instantaneity, whereas previously…

Setting the scene: trends and patterns - Lyell lectures 2018

Lectures and talks; Free events

24 April 2018

Book ownership in Stuart England This lecture series will explore seventeenth century personal book ownership, looking not only at book acquisition patterns but also investigating…

Books for use and books for show - Lyell lectures 2018

Lectures and talks; Free events

26 April 2018

Book ownership in Stuart England This lecture series will explore seventeenth century personal book ownership, looking not only at book acquisition patterns but also investigating…

Women and books in the seventeenth century - Lyell lectures 2018

Lectures and talks; Free events

1 May 2018

Book ownership in Stuart England This lecture series will explore seventeenth century personal book ownership, looking not only at book acquisition patterns but also investigating…

Cultures of collecting in the seventeenth century - Lyell lectures 2018

Lectures and talks; Free events

8 May 2018

Book ownership in Stuart England This lecture series will explore seventeenth century personal book ownership, looking not only at book acquisition patterns but also investigating…

Books for the common man - Lyell lectures 2018

Lectures and talks; Free events

3 May 2018

Book ownership in Stuart England This lecture series will explore seventeenth-century personal book ownership, looking not only at book acquisition patterns but also investigating motives…

Working with digital text: a hands-on introduction to basic computational techniques

Workshops; Free events

22 February 2018

This introductory two-day workshop will help students and researchers get to grips with basic computational analysis methods. It is aimed at an introductory level and…

A Spaniard in Oxfordshire: the archive of Arturo and Ilsa Barea

Lectures and talks; Free events; Special events

8 February 2018

This event celebrates the donation of the archive of Arturo and Ilsa Barea to the Bodleian Libraries. Arturo Barea was an important Spanish writer and…

The Polish-Italian Royal Wedding of 1518: Dynasty, Memory & Language

Lectures and talks; Free events

25 April 2018

In 1518, the Milanese-Neapolitan princess Bona Sforza travelled to Krakow to marry King Sigismund I of Poland, in one of the most celebrated weddings seen…

Romantic poetry and technical breakthrough: the Charles Harpur Critical Archive

Lectures and talks; Free events

7 March 2018

This talk will show a new technical solution to an abiding problem - presenting a large body of literary works in multiple versions. It has…

Bodleian in bloom

Free events; Special events

24 February 2018

The best way to appreciate stunning spaces and striking settings it to experience them first hand. Join the Bodleian for an evening with friends, family…

Linocut one-day course

Courses; Workshops

5 May 2018

Learn to make a linocut print, from a blank sheet of paper to glorious poster, in one day. Take inspiration from the architecture of the…

SaturDIY: Sappho to Suffrage

Workshops; Free events

10 March 2018

Discover the stories of women who dared to do the unexpected at the Bodleian's new Sappho to Suffrage exhibition . Join in with some family-friendly…

Yes/No/Maybe

Performances; Free events

23 February 2018

This physical theatre performance investigates the relationship between the computer language of binary code and the rich and colourful language of human dialogue. Five performers…

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

Exhibitions; Free events

1 June 2018 — 28 October 2018

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth explores Tolkien's amazing legacy from his genius as an artist, poet, linguist, and author to his academic career and private life.…

One hundred years of women's suffrage: how far have we come?

Lectures and talks; Free events

8 March 2018

WiH International Women's Day 2018 To celebrate International Women's Day on 8 March 2018, Women in the Humanities (WiH) are hosting a round-table discussion. Leading…

A lab of one's own: science and suffrage in the First World War

Lectures and talks; Free events

25 July 2018

The year 2018 marks a double centenary: peace was declared in war-wracked Europe, and British women won the vote after decades of struggle. A lab…

Maria Sibylla Merian - naturalist and illustrator 'par excellence'

Lectures and talks; Free events

25 June 2018

Maria Sibylla Merian was one of the first naturalists to make careful observations of the metamorphosis of insects and amphibians, at a time when little…

When Oscar Wilde came to Oxford

Free events; Friends of the Bodleian

22 May 2018

Join Oxford University's Michèle Mendelssohn as she reveals the previously untold, newly researched story of Oscar Wilde's undergraduate days. Drawing on her new book, Making…

The illuminator's craft

Lectures and talks; Free events

4 April 2018

The use of glimmering gold and pricey pigments was undoubtedly the most eye-catching element available to the craftspeople involved in the graphic design of the…

What would Morris say?

Free events; Friends of the Bodleian

12 June 2018

William Morris was one of the most influential artists, writers, and political activists of the 19th century. Reflecting on Morris's art, literature, and political writings,…

Make a hand-printed book in 5 days

Courses; Workshops

23 July 2018 — 29 July 2018

Design and print workshop With 5 days of instruction in the Bodleian's printing workshop, you will design, type-set, illustrate and print your own booklet using…

Turn End: the home and garden of architect Peter Aldington

Performances; Friends of the Bodleian

10 May 2018

Nestling in the centre of the old English village of Haddenham is a group of houses with a glorious garden, now 50 years old and…

Goethe à l'anglaise: singing the poet's song in a strange land

Lectures and talks; Friends of the Bodleian

8 June 2018

Veteran translator and music historian Dr Derek McCulloch returns to the Bodleian Library to celebrate his 80th birthday and to discuss the nature of 'song',…

Shakespeare in the Quad

Performances; Special events

18 July 2018 — 29 July 2016

An unmissable cultural highlight of Oxford's summer, Oxford Playhouse and the Bodleian Library welcome back the Globe Theatre on Tour with not one, not two,…

Linocut one-day workshop

Courses; Workshops

6 May 2018

Learn to make a linocut print, from a blank sheet of paper to glorious poster, in one day. Take inspiration from the architecture of the…

Persian arts of the book

Lectures and talks; Free events

16 May 2018

Associate Professor Mandana Barkeshli and Sadra Zekrgoo will discuss the materials used to create medieval Persian manuscripts. Introducing the ingredients used for dyeing paper and…

Ballads at the Bodleian: songs of life & love

Family events; Free events

22 April 2018

As part of Oxford Folk Weekend, festival director Cat Kelly has unearthed six popular songs from the Bodleian's collection of broadside ballads and written new…

SaturDIY: Sappho to Suffrage

Free events; Special events

19 May 2018

Discover the stories of women who dared to do the unexpected at the Bodleian's new Sappho to Suffrage exhibition . Join in with some family-friendly…

Tolkien's turning point: Tolkien and the history of tongues

Lectures and talks; Free events

4 September 2018

Tom Shippey's lecture will move from the detail to the (eventual) design of Tolkien's languages, and even the philosophical issues embedded in Tolkien's fiction. Professionally…

Necessity and invention: science from the Great War

Displays; Free events

31 March 2018 — 2 June 2018

The First World War was one of mechanisation and science. This display looks at some of the scientific advances born in the crisis which would…

Shikshapatri viewing

Exhibitions; Displays; Free events

12 May 2018 — 13 May 2018

Shikshapatri is a sanskrit manuscript, written by Shree Swaminarayan, founder of Swaminarayan Hinduism, and outlines moral and spiritual codes for everyday life. These codes were…

Shikshapatri viewing

Exhibitions; Displays; Free events

18 August 2018 — 19 August 2018

Shikshapatri is a sanskrit manuscript, written by Shree Swaminarayan, founder of Swaminarayan Hinduism, and outlines moral and spiritual codes for everyday life. These codes were…

Shikshapatri viewing

Exhibitions; Displays; Free events

10 November 2018 — 11 November 2018

Shikshapatri is a sanskrit manuscript, written by Shree Swaminarayan, founder of Swaminarayan Hinduism, and outlines moral and spiritual codes for everyday life. These codes were…

Mythopoeia: myth-creation and Middle-earth

Lectures and talks; Special events

5 June 2018

A celebration of Tolkien and his creations, with special guests Dame Marina Warner, Prof Verlyn Flieger and Dr Dimitra Fimi. The panel of guests will…

A life in letters: a tribute to Jenny Joseph

Readings; Special events

13 May 2018

Reading of the prose and poetry of Jenny Joseph by Miriam Margolyes OBE The Bodleian is proud to commemorate the life and work of poet…

First Saturday printing

Family events; Free events

5 May 2018

200 years since the birth of Karl Marx, create a collective poster of Marx at our monthly 'first Saturday' printing session in the Weston Library.…

Printing and mistyping: typographical mistakes and publishers' corrections (1450-1650)

Displays; Free events

19 April 2018 — 22 April 2018

A small display exploring the notion of printing errors and emendations in the first two centuries of the printing press in Europe. Typographical mistakes and…

Georgia: a cultural journey through the Wardrop Collection

Lectures and talks; Free events

1 June 2018

Talks to mark the publication of the Bodleian book Georgia: a Cultural Journey through the Wardrop Collection by Nikoloz Aleksidze. 2-2.45pm : Nikoloz Aleksidze will…

Dreaming Spires

Free events; Special events

29 June 2018

The best way to take in the magical atmosphere of the Bodleian is the experience it first hand. Join us for an exclusive evening giving…

Can we translate Middle-earth?

Lectures and talks

3 July 2018

This talk has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Please accept out apologies. We will be contacting everyone who has reserved a ticket.…

Persian arts of the book: paper dyes and Peacock ink

Displays; Free events

18 May 2018

This small display investigates paper dyes and writing inks used in medieval Persian manuscripts and provides an insight into how these exquisite manuscripts were made.…

Pop-up restaurant

Special events

28 June 2018

For the first time, the Bodleian Libraries will open its doors as a pop-up restaurant in partnership with Oxford Fine Dining to bring you a…

Looking at Euclid

Displays; Free events

19 May 2018 — 15 July 2018

This display will explore the geometrical worlds of the early modern British Isles by looking at the reception of Euclid's Elements . A series of…

Library Lates: Tolkien

Free events; Special events

16 June 2018

Visit the Bodleian after dark to immerse yourself in the medieval inspirations and imaginative world of J.R.R.Tolkien's Middle-earth. Relax in the café and enjoy live…

Ethiopia and Eritrea Discovery Day

Family events; Free events

28 July 2018

The Bodleian Libraries in Oxford has a fascinating collection of manuscripts and icons from Ethiopia and Eritrea. Drop in to see the temporary display, enjoy…

Tolkien: evening opening

Exhibitions; Free events

5 June 2018

Join us for a special evening viewing of Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth . Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth explores Tolkien's amazing legacy from his genius as…

Alice's Day 2018

Family events; Free events

7 July 2018

Join us to celebrate Alice's Day at the Weston Library for drop-in printing and badge-making, bookable mini book-making workshops, and a range of lectures. Drop-in…

Paths of enlightenment through Inner Asia

Lectures and talks; Free events

17 July 2018

Linguist Peter T. Daniels, author of An Exploration of Writing, explores the fascinating origin of Tibetan and Mongol writing systems. From Mandeville to Marlowe, and…

Curious Cabinets

Displays; Free events

9 June 2018 — 27 August 2018

How did the cabinet of literature open a curious world of science, history, and language? Through exploration of John Marshall’s Child's Library , a cabinet…

Tolkien: evening opening

Exhibitions; Free events

3 July 2018

Join us for a special evening viewing of Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth . Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth explores Tolkien's amazing legacy from his genius as…

Oxford Open Doors - Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

Lectures and talks; Free events

8 September 2018

Oxford Open Doors at the Bodleian Libraries: Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth . Celebrate one of Oxford's most extraordinary writers with a day of fun drop-in…

Tolkien: evening opening

Exhibitions; Free events

4 September 2018

Join us for a special evening viewing of Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth . Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth explores Tolkien's amazing legacy from his genius as…

Crafting 'Curious Cabinets' & Binding Books

Workshops; Free events

4 August 2018

Uncover inspiration in 19th-century children's cabinets of literature to make your own miniature libraries. Join the curator of 'Curious Cabinets' for a tour of the…

Tolkien's medieval languages: Middle English

Lectures and talks; Free events

10 October 2018

After the Conquest: English Fights for Survival. This lecture exploring Middle English, is from the lecture series, convened by Stuart Lee, presenting five Oxford academics…

Tolkien's medieval languages: Medieval Welsh

Lectures and talks; Free events

12 October 2018

Tolkien once termed Welsh 'the elder language of the men of Britain'. This talk explores how the sounds and grammar of Welsh captured Tolkien's imagination…

Tolkien's medieval languages: Old English

Lectures and talks; Free events

19 October 2018

Old English (Anglo-Saxon) is the early form of English which King Alfred spoke and in which Beowulf is written. As Professor of Anglo-Saxon, Tolkien taught…

Tolkien's medieval languages: Old Norse

Lectures and talks; Free events

24 October 2018

The language and literature of medieval Scandinavia and Iceland had a profound influence on Tolkien's imagination. This talk will introduce the language through exploring some…

Tolkien Pub Quiz

Free events; Special events

7 August 2018

Do you know your Tom Bombadil from your Treebeard, or Fangorn forest from Moria? Get your fellowship together for the one trivia-infused shindig to rule…

Re-Imagining Cole

Conferences & symposia

20 October 2018

Black Oxford Untold Stories, in association with the Bodleian Libraries, presents a symposium exploring the background, context and depictions of rediscovered images of Christian Frederick…

Articles of glass

Displays; Free events

21 July 2018 — 9 September 2018

Around 1844 pioneering photographer WH Fox Talbot produced a photograph of glassware for his book The Pencil of Nature . On show, in Blackwell Hall,…

Tolkien's Medieval Languages: Gothic

Lectures and talks; Free events

17 October 2018

Tolkien wrote that he was 'fascinated' with the 'beautiful' Gothic language that he started to study at school, and his literary works attest to this…

Six-week letterpress course

Courses; Workshops

10 October 2018 — 21 November 2018

Design and print workshop using the Bodleian's hand-operated presses in the Bodleian Library. This course will enable you to set and print a short text…

Visual meter and rhythm: the function of movable devices in books

Lectures and talks; Free events

21 November 2018

Movable devices in books, sometimes referred to as novelties, are not new. From anatomical lift flap books, to astrolabes and other volvelles in the early…

Actresses and activists: staging the struggle for Women's Suffrage in theatres and on the streets

Lectures and talks; Free events

28 November 2018

This lecture will look at how performance became a key tool in women's campaign for the vote, and how it enabled activists to engage the…

Kings and Queens of England and how evidence-based medicine could have changed the course of history

Lectures and talks; Free events

7 November 2018

Analysis of the historical harms caused to some of the Kings and Queens of England and what EBM would have done to save their lives.…

The Making of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Lectures and talks; Free events

31 October 2018

In the 200 years since its first publication, the story of Frankenstein’s creation during stormy days and nights at the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva…

Wedding Showcase at the Bodleian Library

Free events; Special events

3 November 2018

You are warmly invited to join us for an evening with friends, family and partners for our wedding showcase at the Bodleian Library. Take in…

Songs of farewell: Hubert Parry and the end of an era

Displays; Free events

1 September 2018 — 20 October 2018

We relate the life and career of Hubert Parry using items from the Bodleian's collections, including the elegiac Songs of Farewell, completed shortly before his…

Tolkien's Beowulf and the Critics

Lectures and talks; Free events

9 October 2018

Tolkien's academic identity was forged and founded in Oxford, where for twenty years he was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon. Throughout that period, which…

The political thought of Clement Attlee by John Bew

Lectures and talks; Free events

25 October 2018

The Attlee Foundation and the Bodleian Libraries are celebrating the legacy of Clement Attlee, with a lecture on 'The political thought of Clement Attlee'.…

The Road Behind, The Road Ahead

Free events; Special events

20 October 2018 — 28 October 2018

The Road Behind, The Road Ahead is a unique project created by The Theatre Chipping Norton to explore the history of the Suffragette movement, and…

Tolkien: evening opening

Exhibitions; Free events

9 October 2018

Join us for a special evening viewing of Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth . Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth explores Tolkien's amazing legacy from his genius as…

200 Years of Frankenstein: it's alive

Free events; Special events

12 October 2018

The Weston Library is open late with hands-on activities, a Living Library of friendly experts, an exhibition and a talk. Explore creation and the building…

Reading French in Fifteenth-Century England

Lectures and talks; Free events

19 November 2018

Fifteenth-century English libraries and private collections have long been known to contain manuscripts in French. Studies of these French manuscripts have often emphasized contemporary acts…

Unhealthy Times of Kings and Queens

Displays; Free events

15 September 2018 — 11 November 2018

Historically, great harms were caused to the health of the Kings and Queens of England. Charles II died from an apoplectic fit despite being subjected…

Finding ourselves in the Library

Free events; Special events

1 December 2018

Discover more about the Story of Phi display. Curator talks Meet Professor Jennifer Ingleheart, the curator of The Story of Phi: Restricted Books .…

Wilfred Owen: The Pity of War

Displays; Free events

26 October 2018 — 21 December 2018

As the Armistice bells were ringing on 11 November 1918, Wilfred Owen’s parents received a telegram informing them that their son had been killed in…

Story of Phi: Restricted Books

Displays; Free events

15 November 2018

In the Victorian age, the Bodleian created a restricted category for obscene books, known as phi. This display, showcasing many items never previously exhibited, explores…

Christmas Card Collages

Free events; Special events

16 November 2018

Drop in on Oxford's Christmas Light Night to create quirky Christmas cards, explore the exhibitions and browse unusual Christmas presents at the Bodleian gift shop.…

Talking Maps Lightshow

Free events; Special events

18 November 2018

Experience the Bodleian as never seen before, a spectacular lightshow showcasing research and images from the Bodleian Libraries' Maps Collections, created by Luxmuralis.…

The Grand Tour: A European Journey in Song

Free events; Special events

15 October 2018 — 19 October 2018

A series of talks, hosted by the Bodleian Libraries, celebrating the rich tapestry of music, words and performance in European song. The following events are…

Readings from new translation of the Polish national epic Pan Tadeusz - literatures of multilingual Europe

Lectures and talks; Free events

9 October 2018

The Taylor Institution Library, one of the Bodleian libraries, is hosting a lecture series entitled Literatures of multilingual Europe in Michaelmas 2018. This series is…

Panel discussion on literary translation - literatures of multilingual Europe

Lectures and talks; Free events

10 October 2018

The Taylor Institution Library, one of the Bodleian libraries, is hosting a lecture series entitled Literatures of multilingual Europe in Michaelmas 2018. This series is…

Scandinavian literature - literatures of multilingual Europe

Lectures and talks; Free events

17 October 2018

The Taylor Institution Library, one of the Bodleian libraries, is hosting a lecture series entitled Literatures of multilingual Europe in Michaelmas 2018. This series is…

Irish literature - literatures of multilingual Europe

Lectures and talks; Free events

24 October 2018

The Taylor Institution Library, one of the Bodleian libraries, is hosting a lecture series entitled Literatures of multilingual Europe in Michaelmas 2018. This series is…

Hungarian literature - literatures of multilingual Europe

Lectures and talks; Free events

31 October 2018

The Taylor Institution Library, one of the Bodleian libraries, is hosting a lecture series entitled Literatures of multilingual Europe in Michaelmas 2018. This series is…

Polish literature - literatures of multilingual Europe

Lectures and talks; Free events

7 November 2018

The Taylor Institution Library, one of the Bodleian libraries, is hosting a lecture series entitled Literatures of multilingual Europe in Michaelmas 2018. This series is…

Greek literature - literatures of multilingual Europe

Lectures and talks; Free events

14 November 2018

The Taylor Institution Library, one of the Bodleian libraries, is hosting a lecture series entitled Literatures of multilingual Europe in Michaelmas 2018. This series is…

Czech and Slovak literature - literatures of multilingual Europe

Lectures and talks; Free events

21 November 2018

The Taylor Institution Library, one of the Bodleian libraries, is hosting a lecture series entitled Literatures of multilingual Europe in Michaelmas 2018. This series is…

Alexander Solzhenitsyn centenary lecture - literatures of multilingual Europe

Lectures and talks; Free events

23 November 2018

The Taylor Institution Library, one of the Bodleian libraries, is hosting a lecture series entitled Literatures of multilingual Europe in Michaelmas 2018. This series is…

Less well-known publishers of modern Greek literature (readings, wine and book display) - literatures of multilingual Europe

Lectures and talks; Free events

28 November 2018

The Taylor Institution Library, one of the Bodleian libraries, is hosting a lecture series entitled Literatures of multilingual Europe in Michaelmas 2018. This series is…

Yiddish literature - literatures of multilingual Europe

Lectures and talks; Free events

29 November 2018

The Taylor Institution Library, one of the Bodleian libraries, is hosting a lecture series entitled Literatures of multilingual Europe in Michaelmas 2018. This series is…

Friends of the Bodleian event - Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth private lecture and viewing by Catherine Mcllwaine

Free events; Friends of the Bodleian

22 October 2018

A special lecture by Catherine Mcllwaine, curator of Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth . Including a private view of the exhibition.…

Friends of the Bodleian event - tour of Bodleian's conservation workshop

Free events; Friends of the Bodleian

14 November 2018

A special tour of the Bodleian's conservation north workshop. There are three time slots available - 10am, 11.45am, 2.15pm .…

Invisible agents - women and espionage in 17th century Britain

Free events; Friends of the Bodleian

29 November 2018

The lecture will showcase the methodical work of John Thurloe, Oliver Cromwell's most memorable spymaster, whose papers are held in the Bodleian. Nadine Akkerman will…

Bodleian & Oxford Fine Dining Christmas dinner

Free events; Special events

7 December 2018

Dine in the present surrounded by the past. Enjoy a unique festive dining experience in the medieval Divinity School, Oxford's most stunning venue. Champagne and…

A reading of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Readings; Free events

31 October 2018

Readings of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein , 200 years after its first publication. Drop into the Weston Library, where there will also be a display of…

Imperial Wave: how empire shaped the network of wireless in South Asia at the turn of the twentieth century

Lectures and talks; Free events

8 November 2018

At the turn of the twentieth century, colonial empires were heavily engaged in redrawing and fortifying their borders. Communications technology had been crucial to this…

Festive Evenings at the Bodleian Libraries

Free events; Special events

7 December 2018

Come and experience a festive evening at the Bodleian Library on either the 7 or 13 December 2018 . The evening includes: A 30-minute guided…

Curating the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition at the British Library

Lectures and talks; Free events

3 December 2018

Claire Breay, Head of Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts at the British Library, explores the origins, development, curation and delivery of her Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms…

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