Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Radcliffe Camera - Oxford

The Radcliffe Camera (Camera, meaning "room" in Italian)  is a building in Oxford, designed by James Gibbs in the English Palladian style and built in 1737–1749 to house the Radcliffe Science Library.
The building is the earliest example in England of a circular library. It is built in three main stages externally and two stories internally, the upper one containing a gallery.
Between 1909 and 1912 an underground book store of two floors was constructed beneath the north lawn of the library with a tunnel connecting it with the Bodleian, invisibly linking the two library buildings, something envisaged by Henry Acland in 1861.
After the Radcliffe Science Library moved into another building, the Radcliffe Camera became home to additional reading rooms of the Bodleian Library. The freehold of the building and adjoining land was transferred from the Radcliffe Trustees to the University in 1927. The interior of the upper reading-room houses a six foot marble statue of John Radcliffe, carved by John Michael Rysbrack.It now holds books from the English, history, and theology collections, mostly secondary sources found on Undergraduate and Graduate reading lists. There is space for around 600,000 books in rooms beneath Radcliffe Square.

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