Research events and opportunities from Bodleian Special Collections

A person touching a book of heat-sensitive paper with one hand, holding a hot drink cup with the other hand
Artist Laura Kriefman experiencing ‘To You’, by book artist Yiota Demetriou. Image by George Margelis 2019. See the BOOKNESS podcast:

Events open to University staff, students and researchers, programmed by the Bodleian Centre for the Study of the Book in collaboration with faculties and research centres of the University of Oxford

*Please note that unless otherwise indicated, a University of Oxford ID or Bodleian reader card is required to enter the seminar rooms or the Visiting Scholars’ Centre in the Weston Library for Special Collections.
Events in the Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, are open to all.

For public lectures and events open to all at the Bodleian Libraries, see the Bodleian Events listings:

For Oxford Bibliographical Society events see the OBS website

OPEN TO ALL: Bibliographical Press open evening for all higher education students and staff
Monday 16 October (Week 2), 5-7 pm, Schola Musicae, Old Bodleian Library
Drop in for a tour of the Bodleian’s hand-operated presses and letterpress workshop. No need to book.

Show and tell: Art and Ephemera
Tuesday 17 October (Week 2), 1-2 pm, Bahari Seminar Room*, Weston Library
Note: your University of Oxford Card or Bodleian Reader Card is essential for access to the Weston Library.
Art and Ephemera offers an introduction to finding and using artists’ books and ephemera at the Bodleian with Jo Maddocks, Assistant Curator, Rare Books and Annabelle Hondier, Assistant Curator, John Johnson Collection. Meet the session organisers at the reader entrance (Parks Road). You must bring your University card to get access, and £1 (returnable) for bag lockers. No bags or food or drink are permitted in the library.
Registration required: email, must include subject line: Art and ephemera.

OPEN TO ALL: Picturing the immaterial in the Age of Industry: Mary Somerville and her artistic circles
Lecture by Sarah Gould (Sorbonne, Sassoon Fellow 2022-23)
Wednesday 18 October (Week 2), 11.10am–12.40pm
All welcome. Full details and to register:

OPEN TO ALL: We Rise (Together): Taking and Making Space for BIPOC Book Arts Creatives, Cultures, and Histories
Lecture by Printer in Residence Tia Blassingame
Tuesday 24 October (Week 3), 1-2pm, Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library
Tia Blassingame will introduce her work leading the Book/Print Artist/Scholar of Color Collective (aka Book/Print Collective) and will share methods for supporting and empowering BIPOC book and print artists so they can thrive in the book arts field and beyond. She will also discuss her educational work that centres Black American artists working in the book form and her curatorial work challenging the exclusion and erasure of Global Majority traditions and artistry in hand papermaking.
All welcome. Full details and to register:

Codicology Workshop Series open to postgraduate students
25 October, 15 November and 29 November, 1:30-3pm, Horton Seminar Room*, Weston Library.
This series of workshops using the Bodleian Special Collections is aimed at Oxford University postgraduate students who wish to learn more about the history of the book, with a particular focus on its construction and materiality. Sessions will cover various aspects of medieval and early modern codicology, from ink to binding, from page to provenance. The originality of this series lies in the fact that the sessions are taught by Bodleian curators, researchers and conservators, bringing together their expertise and different approaches to the book. Sessions focus on inks and pigments, writing surfaces, bindings, decoration and provenance, and are offered in Medieval Studies, History and English.
For more information and to register:

OPEN TO ALL: Early-printed books from Ukraine: Treasures from the Bodleian
Monday 30 October 2023 (Week 4), 1-2pm, Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library
This public talk is programmed in partnership with the Oxford University Ukrainian Society. A selection of the Bodleian’s holdings of early-printed books from Ukraine, including the oldest Ukrainian book, the Apostolos of 1574.
All welcome. Registration details to come, on

Readers and staff Friday coffee mornings: Fridays, 10:30-11:30 am in the Visiting Scholars’ Centre*, Level 2, Weston Library. All welcome. Bodleian/University card is required for entrance.

The Transferrable Research Seminar:
15-minute talks by Bodleian Visiting Fellows; Horton Seminar Room*, 5:15 pm

Wednesday, 18 October
Emma Clery (Uppsala, Carr-Thomas-Ovenden Fellow in English Literature), will be speaking about the materiality of Mary Wollstonecraft’s letters in the Abinger Collection, and on using this focus to reconceive the editing of her correspondence
Virlana Shchuka (Ann Ball Bodley Fellow in Women’s History), will speak about interdisciplinary research approaches, and sharing her research approach to the William Beckford collection in the Bodleian.
Victoria Leonard (Coventry, David Walker Fellow), will speak about the early modern print reception of Paulus Orosius’s Historiae adversus paganos in the second half of the fifteenth century

Wednesday, 1 November
Evi Heinz (Münster, Sassoon Fellow), James Joyce’s Ulysses and the Casanova Society
Agata Paluch (Berlin, Sassoon Fellow), Jewish Recipe Books as Epistemic Objects: Between Learned and Vernacular

Wednesday, 15 November: The Albi Rosenthal Musicology Fellows
Caroline Lesemann-Elliott (Royal Holloway University of London), Unlocking the Blount Music Collection
Maximilian Rosenthal (University of Music and Theatre, Leipzig), A Composer’s Finances: Investigating Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s Account Books
Jason Stoessel (University of New England, Australia), Ciconia’s Padua: An Early Fifteenth-Century Emotional Community of Humanists and Musicians


Student prize competitions open to University of Oxford students

Colin Franklin Prize for Book Collecting

Deadline for essay submissions: 1 December 2023
The Bodleian Centre for the Study of the Book offers a prize to an undergraduate or postgraduate student of the University of Oxford or Oxford Brookes for a collection of books or other printed materials. The prize will be of two parts: a payment of £600 to the winner, and an allowance of £300 for a book to be purchased for the Bodleian Library’s collections, selected by the winner in co-operation with the Bodleian’s Curator of Rare Books. The prize is funded from a donation by Anthony Davis. For full details: Prizes | Bodleian Libraries (

The Gordon Duff Prize

Deadline for topic proposals: 19 January 2024
Deadline for essays (subject to approval of the topic): 28 June 2024
The Gordon Duff Prize of £500 will be awarded for an unpublished essay on any of the following subjects: bibliography, palaeography, typography, book binding, book illustration, the science of books and manuscripts, and the arts relating thereto. For full details: Prizes | Bodleian Libraries (


HOLD THE DATE — Zine Fair, Saturday 24 February, 11:30-4:30pm, Weston Library.


Researchers outside the University of Oxford may apply for a Bodleian Reader Card: for information visit the Bodleian Admissions webpages.