Building a library without walls: the early years of the Bodleian Library

This project represents phase two of the work being done at CELL on Thomas Bodley, and focuses on the early shelves of the Bodleian Library, Oxford. It concentrates on the early donations to and acquisitions of the Library up to the year 1605, tracing shelf marks and locations of books, as well as examining provenance markers in books which arrived at the library directly from benefactors. This project maps the library as it stood in 1605, the date by which Duke Humfrey’s Library was refurbished and extended, and the new systems of cataloguing implemented by Bodley and his Librarian, Thomas James. The information accumulated during the data-collection stage will enumerate key bibliographical information about the Library’s early collection.

The primary output from the dataset will be a 3D visualisation of the Library in 1605 -1620, tracing the movement (or not) of books over the period 1600-1620. The data draws on the earliest administrative records of the Bodleian, and interrogates the cataloguing and list-making activity of the Library staff. The editor of this project is Louisiane Ferlier. The technical framework is designed and maintained by Matthew Symonds. Additional technical support is given by Jan Broadway and Jaap Geraerts. Additional support is provided by Lucy Stagg.