Radcliffe Science Library
The library seen from the north
|Country||England, United Kingdom|
|Location||Parks Road, Oxford, England|
|Branch of||Bodleian Library|
|Items collected||Books and journals in the biological sciences, computing science, experimental psychology, history of science, mathematics, medicine and the physical sciences|
|Size||Around one million items|
|Legal deposit||The library holds the Legal Deposit material in the sciences for Oxford University|
|Access and use|
|Access requirements||University Card or Bodleian Libraries reader's card|
Being officially part of the Bodleian Libraries, although with a completely separate building, the library holds the Legal Deposit material for the sciences and is thus entitled to receive a copy of all British scientific publications. The library holds around a million items, with about a quarter of the holdings on display in the reading rooms and the rest held in storage. It is one of the busiest libraries in Oxford, with just over 120,000 visits by approximately 16,000 individuals, and 272,000 items checked out or renewed, in 2008/9.
The scientific books housed in the Radcliffe Camera were transferred to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in 1861. On land next to the museum (on the corner of Parks Road and South Parks Road) a new library building opened in 1901, the Radcliffe Library. The library is named after John Radcliffe, a major benefactor of the University, like a number of other buildings in Oxford.
In 1927, the library lost its independence, for financial efficiency becoming part of the Bodleian Library. The library took on its current name, the Radcliffe Science Library, and gained the right as a legal deposit library to receive a copy of all new British scientific publications.
With the construction of a basement in the 1970s, part of the building was used to form The Hooke Library, a (separate) science lending library for undergraduates. The library was named after Robert Hooke, a scientist who worked in Oxford. The Hooke Library housed its collection in the Abbot's Kitchen which was originally part of the University Museum and on the staircase at the eastern end of the Jackson Wing of the RSL. The area which housed the Hooke Library collection is now part of the Radcliffe Science Library with the Abbot's Kitchen having been transformed into a refreshment area and a training room.
The RSL building consists of three parts, developed as expansion of the library was necessary:
- The Jackson Wing, parallel to South Parks Road, is Grade II listed. Designed by Sir Thomas Jackson it opened in 1901. This wing currently houses parts of the RSL and formerly housed part of the Hooke Library on the staircase at its east end. It is arranged over 3 floors, all above ground, with two reading rooms and administration offices.
- The Worthington Wing, parallel to Parks Road, was designed as an extension to the Jackson Wing in 1934 by Hubert Worthington. The wing extends to the north of the western end of the Jackson Wing and contains two reading rooms, on the first and second floors, and the library entrance hall on the ground floor.
- The Lankester Room and Main Stack, a two-storey extension under the lawn of the museum, built 1972-5. The Lankester Room is a large reading room of the library containing the book collection. The stack contains additional storage for library materials - readers do not have direct access to this, but can request items from it.
- "University Museum of Natural History" (PDF). Oua.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
- "Radcliffe Science Library | RSL History". Bodleian.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
- "Radcliffe Science Library: Door". Inside Oxford Libraries. WordPress. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
- MacCarthy, Fiona (8 June 2004). "Obituary: Donald Potter". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- "Radcliffe Science Library - RSL and Hooke building works 2007". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on January 17, 2007. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
- Hassall, T. G. (1972). "Roman finds from the Radcliffe Science Library extension, Oxford, 1970-71" (PDF). Oxoniensia. 37: 38–50. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
- Information boards, concerning the 2007 transformation
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