of the Bodleian, part three

I am sorry I left you abruptly at Arts End. It was such that I found myself unable to describe it. As we left it, I asked The Librarian why Hitler had spared Oxford. It wasn’t the kindness of the pilots of the Luftwaffe–after each mission they had orders to pepper extra bombs over the countryside. Except on Oxford.

“There were potential targets here, too,” said The Librarian, “because of the factories.” So why? “Oh, Hitler really admired Oxford. He planned to live here after he won the war.”

The Radcliffe Camera from University Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Returning first to the ground level of the Divinity School, The Librarian then led us deep into the belly of the Bod, where we suddenly found ourselves aboard the Death Star. I began searching frantically for the imprisoned Princess Leia, only realizing we were in the tunnel under Radcliffe Square when we passed under a thick glass pothole cover thing.

The Tunnel

The rain running off of the cobbles of Radcliffe Square above still leaks through on wet days, according to The Librarian.

Coming up from the tunnel, we walked through the underground stacks of the Gladstone Link and up into the Radcliffe Camera. We began in the Lower Camera, where tall windows interrupt towering shelves of books. The tables under them were filled with readers. “In term I have to get here early to get a seat,” said Alex. To reach the Upper Camera, one has to exit the Lower Reading Room and climb a broad staircase that runs across the front door, curling around and around inside the dome. At the top, wooden doors, and the Upper Camera.

I couldn't take pictures, so I pulled this of the Upper Camera from the internet. It does not do it justice.

Oh, the things my eyes have seen. It was so beautiful. Just windows and tables and books and beauty, a gallery running around it, a gorgeous dome above. The books it houses are mainly English and History, the subjects of my own university studies. That means this is my library. I instantly planned a return to academics. Alex can study downstairs, I’ll study up here, the girls can . . . the girls! I had promised the dear friend caring for them that I would return by 2:30. We profusely thanked our kind and knowledgeable Librarian for his time. It was so, so good of him.

Inside the dome of the Radcliffe Camera

I have taken a picture of the door of the Radcliffe Camera so many times. On the way out, I took one from it. Our tour of the Bodleian had taken just one hour.

Leaving the Camera

*No librarians were hurt during the making of this series.
In Part One it may have seemed like Alex wheedled his way in. In fact, he simply asked an acquaintance he’s made who was very willing to show us around–many thanks to him!

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3 Responses to of the Bodleian, part three

  1. Miriam Boone says:

    the bod is the thing i miss the most…by far…especially the radcliffe cam…i would love to visit oxford again but i think it will break my heart that i wouldn’t be allowed back inside the library…

    such beauty…it makes you ache 🙂 so glad you got to see it…

  2. Yes, do apply right away. Goodness, it would be rather hard not to hold a tiny grudge against the husband who got to enjoy this on a daily basis while one stayed at home. At least you know now how to think of him. ; )

  3. Pingback: and so norah has a turn | part of the main

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