Current and upcoming exhibitions

Current exhibitions

3D sidebar

Thinking 3D: Leonardo to the present

21 March 2019 — 9 February 2020

Treasury, Weston Library

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, prints and drawings, Thinking 3D tells the story of the development of three-dimensional communication over the last 500 years.

The exhibition shows how new techniques, developed from the Renaissance onwards, revolutionized the way that ideas in the fields of anatomy, architecture, astronomy and geometry were relayed and ultimately how this has influenced how we perceive the world today. Timed to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the exhibition shows how Leonardo and his contemporaries made great strides in the realistic depiction of 3D forms.

Thinking 3D explores technological advances up to the present day including 3D modelling, photography and stereoscopy; and also highlights the works of modern practitioners and researchers in Oxford. The exhibition will be accompanied by a range of smaller exhibitions and events across Oxford in 2019 as part of the Thinking 3D research project.

Current displays

 A sketch of a stone head

Oxford's stone heads: history and mysteries

4 May — 21 July 2019

Blackwell Hall, Weston Library

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 heritage science contributes to unravelling their past and conserving stone for the future.

 Illustration of sheets of paper with writing and drawings in a pile on the floor

White Rose: Writing and Resistance

18 May — 7 July 2019

, Bodleian Library

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 White Rose Resistance used the political power of the written word.

 Upcoming exhibitions

 Photograph of the Jain map

Talking Maps

5 July 2019 - 8 March 2020

ST Lee Gallery, Weston Library

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 that make and use them.

Drawing on the Bodleian's unparalleled collection of more than 1.3 million maps, this exhibition brings together an extraordinary selection of ancient, pre-modern and contemporary maps from a range of cultures and in a variety of formats as well as showcasing fascinating imaginary, fictional and war maps.

Talking Maps explores how maps are neither transparent objects of scientific communication, nor baleful tools of ideology, but proposals about the world that help people to understand who they are by describing where they are.


 Upcoming displays

 Illustration of the moon and a lake, and musical notes

We Look to the Moon

13 July — 15 September 2019

, Bodleian Library

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 fascination with, all things lunar.


 War Without Glamour: Emily Hobhouse’s peace activism, 1899–1926

21 September - 24 November 2019    

Proscholium, Bodleian Library

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 women and children.

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