Oxford Open Doors, 8-10 September 2023

By | 6 September 2023

The Bodleian Law Library is participating in this year’s Oxford “Open Doors” weekend on Friday and Saturday, 8-9 September 2023.  (The Open Doors events continue on Sunday, though the Law Library is not participating 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 within them.

Most readers of this blog will be aware that we are one of the largest law libraries in the United Kingdom, but some may not realize that the St. Cross Building, completed in 1964, is a landmark in the development of modern architecture in Oxford.  It was designed by Leslie Martin and Colin St. John Wilson, two of the leading architects of the time, and is now listed at Grade II*.  We hope to show the building as a work of architecture and as a functioning library, with the hope that visitors will be able to see the relationship between these two aspects.

Visitors to the Law Library will be taken on tours on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.  The tours are currently fully booked, but it is still possible to put one’s name on the waiting list.  And, of course, several other parts of the Bodleian are also open, as are a number of college libraries, and the Open Doors website includes a wide range of places throughout Oxford that can be visited.

Oxford Open Doors is organised by Oxford Preservation Trust in partnership with the University of Oxford.  It is part of an England-wide celebration of architecture and culture known as Heritage Open Days which began in 1994 as England’s contribution to European Heritage Days which began several years earlier.  There is a separate event in London, chiefly on the following weekend, known as Open House.

Event listings can be found on the websites of the organizations mentioned:
The A to Z of the Bodleian Libraries  –  https://visit.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/event/sep23/a-to-z-of-the-bodleian-libraries
Oxford Open Doors  –  https://www.oxfordpreservation.org.uk/content/oxford-open-doors
Heritage Open Days  –  https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk
London Open House  –  https://programme.openhouse.org.uk/calendar