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Weston Library, Oxford

4.3
#6 of 15 in Historic Sites in Oxford
The Weston Library is part of the Bodleian Library, the main research library of the University of Oxford, reopened within the former New Bodleian Library building on the corner of Broad Street and Parks Road in central Oxford, England.HistoryFrom 1937 to 1940, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott worked on the New Bodleian Library, in Broad Street, Oxford. It is not generally considered his finest work. Needing to provide storage for millions of books without building higher than the surrounding structures, Scott devised a construction going deep into the earth, behind two elevations no higher than those around them. His biographer A. S. G. Butler commented, "In an attempt to be polite to these – which vary from late Gothic to Victorian Tudor – Scott produced a not very impressive neo-Jacobean design". A later biographer, Gavin Stamp, praises the considerable technical achievement of keeping the building low in scale by building underground, but agrees that aesthetically the building is not among Scott's most successful designs. Nikolaus Pevsner dismisses it as "neither one thing nor the other".
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Weston Library Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
183 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • In February we enjoyed an excellent exhibit of vellum books and another exhibit that included a copy of the Magna Carta! Pretty amazing!  more »
  • Pleasant space. Good cafe. Very good exhibition on mediaeval books. Couldn’t read most of them but the info was clear and concise.  more »
  • The free exhibitions staged at the Weston library are well worth visiting. On this occasion, we were fascinated by "Designing English" which was showcasing examples of manuscripts which are written pa...  more »
Google
  • Can't believe how they have ruined the interior of this beautifulheritage building. All the warmth, comfort and old world charm of an airport lounge. Not what visitors to Oxford come to see. Hardly any books in this so-called Library and why do we need yet another 'exhibition' space? And YET another superfluous overpriced shop and cafe??? Oxford is fast being ruined by insensitive conversions and developments.
  • Tourists are barred from the actual library books collection but the ground floor, near the cafe, has a small museum with many interesting exhibits. I saw letters from Shelley, Tolkien, and Wollstonecraft, as well as an elegant Quran. (January 2018)
  • 'The Treasures of the Bodleian' exhibition in The Weston Library is exceptional. We felt so fortunate to be able to see Handel's original manuscript, of The Messiah, the James Audubon illustrations and Charles 1's small set of classics. The concept of the pairs was excellent. The exhibition was intimate, superbly annotated and beautifully executed. It is Free to all who enter. The New Bodleian Library building itself is a unique space offering quiet to all in the centre of the bustling City.
  • Make sure you come to the Weston Library after visiting the Bodheian Library. The exhibits were wonderful! Truly loved the tapestry on the wall beside the cafe. Make sure you talk with one of the tour guides! The gentleman who told us all about the tapestry so was knowledgable about the tapestry! Great visit! Also, had a lovely afternoon tea.
  • A truly beautiful, modern building, home to part of the Oxford University Bodleian Libraries. The Weston's ground floor is given over to a café, and several gallery spaces with multiple free, limited time exhibitions. The space also gives wonderful views up to the library itself through glass walls and tunnels. The exhibitions change frequently, but at the time of writing (November 2017), the galleries were dedicated to "The Full Picture" (portraits featuring prominent figures from the university's past and present), and "Redesigning The Medieval Book" - both wonderful!
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