Choosing the Bodleian for its History…
Many couples decide to get married at the Bodleian because of its historic charm. Many are swayed by the impressive late-Gothic architecture alone. The old Bodleian Library is a multi-functioning venue. It is open to hundreds of readers, (both in and out of the University term time) and in the day the spaces are largely dedicated to tour groups. Tours mainly take place in the Divinity School, Convocation House, Chancellor’s Court and Duke Humfrey’s Library.
Brief History of Duke Humfrey’s Library
Duke Humfrey’s Library is the most ancient library room and the atmospheric heart of the library. Tours pass through the oldest section of the library, built between 1610–12. Featuring wooden desks and reading areas; large stained glass windows; and shelves of early books across the main level and a higher gallery, many still shelved in the pre-19th-century manner with the spines facing inward
How the tours work
Every day, an enthusiastic and dedicated team of guides deliver tours which explore the best bits of the Bodleian! These include the incredibly popular Medieval Duke Humfrey’s Library, which is steeped in history. During this thirty minute tour, experienced guides will tell the stories of how the library came to be, they will delve into the medieval rules and processes that are still in use today, and how the library is now also a world-renowned film set.
A fact for keen readers…
In 1610, Thomas Bodley entered into an agreement with the Stationers’ Company of London that a copy of every book published in England would be deposited in the new library. The Bodleian is now one of five legal deposit libraries in the UK and is entitled to claim a copy of every book published in the country. To accommodate all these books, the Bodleian opened a storage facility in Swindon that has 153 miles of shelving and can hold up to 8.4 million volumes!
A unique advantage to booking your wedding at the Bodleian, is that a tour of Duke Humfrey’s Library can be arranged for you and your guests before or after your wedding ceremony. The same can be organised during your drinks reception or before your wedding breakfast takes place.
Groups of 30 guests will be taken up to Duke Humfrey’s, and the tour will last between 20-30 minutes. Alternatively, newly-weds also have the option to spend up to 20 minutes in Duke Humfrey’s to have a series of relaxed and romantic photographs taken up there.
What might you learn during your Wedding tour?
– The evolution of the Bodleian: the introduction of new staircases and why this was necessary
– The organisation of books and how they were shelved and categorised
– The Bodleian’s earliest printed book
– The reasons behind the library’s aesthetics
Until next time…
Up until now, perhaps you weren’t aware that Bodleian can offer such unique experiences to weave into your wedding? As always, if you are interested in learning more about wedding tours, or weddings in general we would like to hear from you! Please scroll down for further contact information…
Bodleian Tours Website: https://visit.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/tours
Bodleian weddings: https://visit.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/venue-hire/weddings