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Home > View & Discuss > Richard Ovenden on the Bodleian Libraries

Richard Ovenden on the Bodleian Libraries

Speaker(s): Richard Ovenden and Clare Williamson

  • Date recorded: 6 Feb 2012

  • Duration: 17:27

Past readers at Oxford’s Bodleian library include five kings, 40 Nobel Prize winners, 25 British prime ministers, and writers such as Oscar Wilde, CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien.

About this video

Founded in 1602, the Bodleian Library is hallowed ground for academic researchers.

Join Oxford’s Richard Ovenden and learn about the history of the Bodleian’s collection of Arabic, Persian and Turkish manuscripts that today number over 5000 treasured items.

Hear about Sir Thomas Bodley, the library’s founder, and other individuals who gifted some of the world’s most sought-after manuscripts.

You’ll also discover how in 2012 the Bodleian lent a selection of its rarest manuscripts to the State Library of Victoria’s Love and devotion: from Persia and beyond exhibition.


Richard Ovenden FRSA FSA is keeper of special collections and director of the Centre for the Study of the Book at the Bodleian library. 

Clare Williamson is an exhibitions curator at State Library Victoria.