6 Reasons to Add the Bodleian Library to Your Book Bucket List
If "books are a uniquely portable magic," then libraries must be one of the most magical places on earth (and librarians must be magicians). Oxford University's Bodleian Library certainly looks the part. This historical institution—and part-time Hogwarts stand-in—is a must-see for any traveling book worm. If it isn't on your book bucket list already, we think we can change your mind.
Reason #1: It has over 11 million printed items.
Not to shame your local library, but we're betting your usual book haunts can't quite compare to Bodleian's veritable army of tomes. Among the 11 million items to browse are a rare copy of Shakespeare's First Folio, unbound and unrestored, along with the largest collection of pre-1500 printed books in any university library in the world.
Reason #2: This is what it looks like on the outside.
Be still our bookish hearts. The image above is of Radcliffe Camera, which serves as a reading room for the Bodleian (because the Bodleian is so massive that architectural wonders like this are used as a "room").
Reason #3: Its history goes back to the fourteenth century.
While the Bodleian Library officially opened to scholars in the seventeenth century, the collection truly began with Thomas Cobham, Bishop of Worcester, in 1320. At the time, all of the books were chained to the wall to prevent theft. With generous contributions from Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and Thomas Bodley, the library was refitted and re-opened under the name Bodleian Library on November 8, 1602.
Reason #4: You may have seen your favorite fictional wizards here on the big screen.
Duke Humphrey's library, the oldest reading room in the Bodleian, was used as the filming location for the Hogwarts Library in the Harry Potter films. And, in case you were wondering, The Bodleian staff is "experienced in working with both small and large scale filming projects." Other film credits include The Golden Compass, Brideshead Revisited, and The Madness of King George III.
Reason #5: It has a pretty sweet nickname.
Just call it "Bodley" or the "the Bod," and you'll fit right in with the rest of the Oxford students. (Well, maybe not, but it's worth a try.)
Reason #6: Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and more browsed its shelves.
Some of the greats have found inspiration here. Including the above writers, five kings, 40 Nobel Prize winners, and 26 prime ministers (and counting!) have all studied at the Bodleian.
Know of any other magical places for our book bucket list? Let us know in the comments!
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