The Bodleian Law Library is participating in Oxford “Open Doors” on Friday and Saturday, 7 – 8 September 2018. (Open Doors is organized by Oxford Preservation Trust, and events continue on Sunday though the Law Library will not be open on that day.) The purpose of the weekend is to enable a wider public to see interesting and important buildings, including many that are not normally open to visitors, and to learn about the activities that take place inside them.
Most readers of this blog will be aware that we are the largest law library in the United Kingdom, but some may not realize that the St. Cross Building is a landmark in the development of modern architecture in Oxford and is now listed at Grade II*. The building was designed by Leslie Martin and Colin St. John Wilson and completed in 1964, with recent alterations by the London-based architectural practice Pringle Richards Sharratt. We intend to show the building as a work of architecture and as a functioning library, and we hope that visitors will be able to see the relationship between these two aspects.
There will be, as usual, a small exhibition on the design and construction of the building. Additionally, in keeping with this year’s Open Doors theme of “extraordinary people”, there will be two further exhibitions: one on pioneering Oxford women in the law; and another, drawing heavily on the Official Papers collection, on the campaign for women’s suffrage and its eventual success. For the benefit of our readers, the exhibitions will remain in place until the middle of next week.
Tours of the Law Library are now fully booked, but many other buildings and institutions are participating, and most do not require advance booking. All venues are listed in the Open Doors booklet. Copies are available (while supplies last) at the main enquiry desk in the library, and there is a reference copy in the casual seating area near the display of new journals. The booklet can also be obtained from the Oxford Information Centre on Broad Street, and it can be downloaded from the Oxford Preservation Trust website:
By Ronald Richenburg