Current exhibitions and displays

Current exhibitions

Image of Designing English graphic from exhibition poster

Designing English

1 December 2017 - 22 April 2018

Weston Library, Oxford

This exhibition illustrates the graphic design of handwritten manuscripts and inscriptions for the first thousand years of English, across the Middle Ages.

Showcasing the Bodleian Library's rich holdings of medieval manuscripts in English, ranging from Old English picture books or notes scratched into herbals, through fragments of medieval songs scribbled on spare pages, to masterpieces framed with illustrations and gold, or new page designs for practical tasks, such as manuals for handling swans. It will cover the experiences of both the makers and the users of writing: how craftspeople planned and made books, and how readers responded to their designs.

To show the likeness to modern craft, Designing English will be shown for the first two months alongside Redesigning the medieval book: a display of contemporary book arts inspired by the exhibition, through a workshop and competition.

Image of a Suffrage postcard

Sappho to Suffrage: women who dared

6 March 2018-February 2019

Weston Library, Oxford

Pirates and poets; suffragettes and explorers - exhibition celebrating the achievements of women who dared to do the unexpected. Sappho to Suffrage showcases some of the Bodleian's most remarkable and treasured items.

Current displays

Image of a purple book

Redesigning the medieval book

1 December 2017 - 11 March 2018

Blackwell Hall, Weston Library

A display of newly created artist's books inspired by medieval manuscripts.

The books on display will be taken from a recent competition which invited contemporary bookbinders, papermakers, calligraphers, illustrators, graphic designers, hand press printers and other artists to submit their designs. The winner and a selection of entries will be on display in Blackwell Hall to run alongside the exhibition Designing English.

 Portrait of Albert Einstein

Walter Benington: photographic portraits 1914-1922

20 January-25 March 2018

Proscholium, Bodleian Library

Walter Benington's photographic portraits include leading members of Oxford and Cambridge Universities as well as renowned figures such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Albert Einstein.

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