Julian Blackwell has donated £5 million from his personal Trust to the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, “the largest single cash donation ever made to a university library in the UK” according to the University.
The donation will help transform the housing of the Bodleian’s collections and will open up its treasures to the public.
The entrance hall of the redeveloped New Bodleian Library will be named Blackwell Hall in honour of Julian Blackwell. Blackwell is President of Blackwell’s, the bookshop across the road from the library, which opened its Broad Street store in 1879. Blackwell’s operates over 60 bookshops throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
The donation launches the fundraising campaign for the redevelopment of the New Bodleian Library building into a major research centre, and a significant new cultural centre, where scholars, citizens of Oxford, and visitors to the city can view some of the University’s great treasures, and gain insights into the research activities of the University.
The 400-year old Bodleian’s collections include the papers of six British prime ministers; a Gutenberg Bible; the earliest surviving book written wholly in English; a quarter of the world’s original copies of the Magna Carta; the original manuscript of Frankenstein; and over 10,000 medieval manuscripts.
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