Tuesday, 29 March 2011

There and back again: our Oxford trip

Yesterday I visited the beautiful city of Oxford for the first time. We hitched a ride with the Cambridge College Libraries Forum who were going for a conference, and Erin had organised a day of library visits for the trainees. We had a tour around the old Bodleian by Verity, who is a reading room supervisor and a former trainee herself. Then we visited St John's College library where we gave ourself a tour based on their librarian's helpful emailed notes! (He was off to the conference.)

After a yummy lunch at G&D's (bagels and icecream), we met up with the Bodleian trainee, Becci. Next stop was Corpus Christi, where Erin showed us around the library, this being her college when she was at Oxford. We met the archivist, Julian, who showed us some really interesting items from their collection of manuscripts, including a letter from Henry VIII to the Vatican, enquiring after his divorce proceedings! Julian also is the archivist at Merton College, so he took us over to Merton to see their archives as well. The setting for Merton's archives couldn't be more different from our archives at Newnham, ours being built a few years ago, and the materials being stored in rolling stacks, Merton's archive building dating from 1264 and with carved wooden cupboards housing the records.

My usual tendency would be to write a mile long post about a day like this, unfortunately (or fortunately more likely) a lot of good stuff is going on this week and next week, so I don't have time! I hear your sighs of relief.

Edit: While I was writing this, Erin posted her account of the day, which is very much better than mine and will tell you all the ins and outs of what we were doing!

Rather bad picture of the Radcliffe Camera, which is AMAZING inside

View from outside the Bodleian

St John's College

Corpus Christi College

Chapel in Merton College

Garden in Merton College

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