Friday, September 3, 2010

Blog 3: The Bodleian Library (Oxford, England)

The Bodleian is the second largest library in England a famous library, which is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. It is used as a research library at Oxford University and simultaneously acts as a legal deposit library. Similar to the State Library of Victoria having the staggering range and value of their resources, items cannot be borrowed and are used as reference tools only.

This academic library was established in 1602. The library follows strict procedure one that caught my interest, which reinforces that items must be kept in its original enclosure “I hereby undertake not to remove from the Library, nor to mark, deface, or injure in any way, any volume, document or other object belonging to it or in its custody; not to bring into the Library, or kindle therein, any fire or flame, and not to smoke in the Library; and I promise to obey all rules of the Library.” No entrance is allowed to patrons who don’t agree with the speculated terms and conditions.

Some of the older collection from the 19th century is digitized and the library has collected manuscripts many of which have been generously donated to the library. The library has retained an impressive array of resources. Manuscript collections: The Ashmole Manuscripts, The Carte Manuscripts, The Douce Manuscripts, The Laud Manuscripts, the letters of the famous poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Individual manuscripts: The Codex Bodley, The Codex Ebnerianus,The Codex Laudianus, The Codex Laud, The Codex Mendoza, The Codex Tischendorfianus III, The Codex Tischendorfianus IV, The Huntington MS 17, the oldest manuscript with complete text of the four Gospels in Bohairic (Coptic), The Magna Carta ,The Song of Roland, The Vernon Manuscript (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Eng. poet.a.1).

As the library has over 11 million items and growing in numbers are facing problems with storage space, the handling of older and decaying resources was worrisome. The architecture is stunning and filmmakers have taken advantage of their scenery. An example is Duke Humfrey's Library acting as the Hogwarts library in the first Harry Potter movie.

Reflection on blogging experience:

 I aimed to focus on key information which unfolded my main findings for the topic of choice. In the research process I used a popular encyclopedia available online.


Bodleian Library, 2010, Bodleian Library, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, viewed 3 September 2010, < >.

Blog 2: Behind the Architecture of the British Library

The long winded development of the British Library was completed in 1997. The architect who had skilfully planned this outstanding architecture for this famous library was Sir Colin St John Wilson. The design principles are based on the principles of 19th century architecture with an underlying gothic theme. The design has been meticulous in its details and contains an overwhelming amount of space within the library and includes features of balconies, stair cases and escalators.

It took a total of 35 years to get the library built and unlike most projects which would be completed in a shorter duration. Many critics where put forward against the library, this surprised me as I see it is a fantastic faculty with a great multitude of materials which serve the information needs of millions of people. However the plans needed approval of the government client body which involved much struggle.

This library has been positively described as being “invigorating” and “uplifting” this incorporates one of the key measures of success of architecture, the feelings which are brought about in the people that dwell there. The building has a sense of enclosure even despite its large size. The architecture of the British library is considered unique for retaining “The older tradition of Modern Architecture” it has an unconventional structure and upholds a high quality finish. With careful engineering this treasure can be appreciated for many years to come.

The key to designing architecture is firstly to examine what will be used there, in this instance the architecture has inflicted feelings of comfort and impression on those who work there, the key ideas where never fully described by the architect but has lead sceptics to evaluate the intentions of the quiet but magnificent architecture. Furthermore the British library was intended to be a great international library and simultaneously has attracted researchers throughout the world visiting the library within its existence.

Reflection on Blogger experience: I utilized a website and an online book; I found that the book went into much more depth and description than the website. I also found it interesting to research the architecture of the British library as I had no previous knowledge of the subject.


1. The British Library, London 2008, The British Library, London, Galinsky, viewed 20 August 2010, < >

2. Stonehouse and Stromberg, London 2004, The Architecture of The British Library at St. Pancras, Google books, viewed 20 August 2010, < >

(An online book preview)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blog 1: Introduction to the British Library

Today I solely utlized web resources for the first 3  posts which describe the key information on the history, construction and architecure of the British Library.
One of the dominant libraries in Britain is the British Library located at Euston Road in London, England. The library has been known for having millions of items within its collection and enabling millions of interlibrary loan requests.

The collection contains several unique collections including: Original Beatle manuscripts, Magna Carta, Lindisfarne Gospels, Leonardo da Vinci's Notebook, The Times first edition from 18 March 1788. Material over 3,000 years old (Chinese oracle bones) - and today's newspapers, 310,000 manuscript volumes,Over 4 million maps and over 260,000 journal titles.

Why not view some photos of the British Library?  Follow the web link below:

The British library came into existance on the 1st of July in 1973 and In 1972 The British library was declared by Parliament as a single entity well after the established building plans had been completed. The library also easily assesible from various forms of transport.
The British Library has consistency been an impressive facility with a systematic approach to its services and has been frequently compared to leading libraries around the world such as the library of Congress.
Building was designed by architect Colin St John Wilson, the key features of this masterpiece have been published in London in 2007, the title is conviently named "The British Library"

Reflection on blogger experience:
I did not find all the required information from one website which was my orignal expectation. I used the Google search to search for The British library. I had found many websites with similar content. However I aim to incorporate a good scope of resources which provided a well rounded view (in my opinion) on the same subject. I learned how to edit blog posts, insert a picture and place hyperlink to provide ease of access to my blog readers.

1.Welch and Lomholt, 2006, British Library Building : Information + Photos, E-architect, viewed 20 August 2010,
2. British Library, 2010, British Library, Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, viewed 20 August 2010,

Research brief

This research plan outlines the requirements for assessment submission; sub topics which I intend to cover and overall aim to enhance the assignments scope and quality.

Areas to be covered:
• Describe and analyse famous historical libraries in England
• The historical backgrounds of the libraries
• The significance of these older libraries today
• Changes within time periods eg. 1700 – 1800
• Describe Literacy works
•Social aspects of public libraries
• Library architecture
• Culture and history of Britain oldest libraries
• Other adjoining topics
Resources that may be utilized:
• Websites

• Online encyclopaedias and dictionary
• Monographs
• Serials
• Journals
• Reference books
• DVDs and video recordings
• Newspapers
• EBSCO Host
• Informit
• Other online databases

Strategy for Assignment:
• Incorporate at least 3 differential information resources
• Aim to provide with readers with thought provoking and informative material
• Avoid unnecessary repetition
• Provide links to articles on the topic
• Use Harvard Referencing to cite resources used