110 episodes

The Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford is the largest university library system in the United Kingdom. It includes the principal University library - the Bodleian Library - which has been a legal deposit library for 400 years; as well as 28 other libraries across Oxford including major research libraries and faculty, department and institute libraries. Together, the Libraries hold more than 12 million printed items, over 80,000 e-journals and outstanding special collections including rare books and manuscripts, classical papyri, maps, music, art and printed ephemera. Members of the public can explore the collections via the Bodleian’s online image portal at digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk or by visiting the exhibition galleries in the Bodleian's Weston Library. For more information, visit www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

The Bodleian Libraries (BODcasts‪)‬ Oxford University

    • Education
    • 4.7 • 3 Ratings

The Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford is the largest university library system in the United Kingdom. It includes the principal University library - the Bodleian Library - which has been a legal deposit library for 400 years; as well as 28 other libraries across Oxford including major research libraries and faculty, department and institute libraries. Together, the Libraries hold more than 12 million printed items, over 80,000 e-journals and outstanding special collections including rare books and manuscripts, classical papyri, maps, music, art and printed ephemera. Members of the public can explore the collections via the Bodleian’s online image portal at digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk or by visiting the exhibition galleries in the Bodleian's Weston Library. For more information, visit www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

    • video
    Meet the Manuscripts: hidden treasures of medieval illumination

    Meet the Manuscripts: hidden treasures of medieval illumination

    Matthew Holford, Tolkien Curator of Medieval Manuscripts, and Martin Kauffmann, Head of Early and Rare Collections, in conversation about the artists, patrons and significance of three extraordinary manuscripts. Some of the greatest treasures of medieval painting are not displayed on museum walls but lie hidden – relatively speaking – in manuscript books. Our experts at our introduce some of the lesser-known treasures of the Bodleian and leaf through the pages during the live event recorded on Zoom. Sessions will include manuscripts from German-speaking lands which are being shared online for the first time as part of a Polonsky Foundation digitization project.

    • 1 hr 11 min
    • video
    Singing Together; Apart: Gregorian Chant Workshop for Candlemas

    Singing Together; Apart: Gregorian Chant Workshop for Candlemas

    Building on the repertoire from our previous workshop, we will add further pieces for Candlemas where everybody is invited to join in by singing the communal response Gregorian chant is an ancient communal song tradition with its roots in the medieval Church, but its calming, meditative effect has made it a surprise hit in lockdown.
    Sing in the comfort of your own home (where no strangers can hear you!) in this online choir session suitable for the absolute beginner.
    Medieval researchers will also give a brief introduction to the 15th-century manuscript from the Cistercian nunnery of Medingen where the music is preserved.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    • video
    Meet the Manuscripts: judging a book by its cover

    Meet the Manuscripts: judging a book by its cover

    The covers can tell us as much about a book as its contents. This workshop explores the secrets which bookbindings reveal about the uses and histories of medieval manuscripts.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    • video
    Singing Together; Apart: Gregorian Chant Workshop – Song of Simeon

    Singing Together; Apart: Gregorian Chant Workshop – Song of Simeon

    In this online choir workshop you will learn to sing along with a simple voice part from the Candlemas Nunc Dimittis and see the 15th-century manuscript from the Cistercian nunnery of Medingen where the music is preserved in the Bodleian Libraries A Gregorian chant workshop based on the 15th-century Manual for the Provost of Medingen (Bodleian Libraries MS. Lat liturg. e. 18.)
    This event is part of the Manuscripts from German-Speaking Lands Project, funded by The Polonsky Foundation. The Project is a three-year collaboration between the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford and the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel to digitize nearly 600 medieval manuscripts. Thanks to St Edmund Hall for their talented singers and the use of the Crypt of St-Peter-in-the-East.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    • video
    Trinity: A Real Life Spy Story

    Trinity: A Real Life Spy Story

    Frank Close tells the story of Klaus Fuchs and the Bodleian Library. Trinity was the codename for the test explosion of the atomic bomb in New Mexico on 16 July 1945. In this talk, Frank Close tells the story of the bomb's metaphorical father, Rudolf Peierls (Prof Close's one time mentor in Oxford); his intellectual son, the atomic spy Klaus Fuchs; and the ghosts of the security services in Britain, the USA and USSR. Close's meticulously researched book, Trinity, reveals new insights into Fuchs' espionage from MI5 files in the National Archives, documents of the FBI and KGB, and – this talk’s focus – from the Bodleian Library. This includes correspondence between Fuchs and Peierls, which, with other letters in the Bodleian's Peierls Collection, strongly suggests that Fuchs passed more to the Russians than has been previously realised.

    The Bodleian possesses the original letter from Fuchs, written in Brixton Prison in 1950 to Peierls' wife, Genia, in which Fuchs' resistance to preserving the spying code of secrecy finally broke.

    A new Bodleian collection of photographs, previously unseen and still being catalogued, gives a profound glimpse of the intimate relationship between Fuchs and the Peierls family, for whom Fuchs was "like a son" and the discovery that he had betrayed their trust, along with the country that had adopted him, was devastating.


    This lecture was hosted by the Friends of the Bodleian. For almost a century, the financial support, advice and expertise of the Friends of the Bodleian have helped ensure we remain one of the world’s premier libraries.

    Friends enjoy a range of benefits, including exclusive events, member-only discounts and the chance to see all our exhibitions before the open to the general public.

    Become a Friend today and enjoy closer access to the Bodleian inspiring collections and beautiful libraries. To join, renew and find out more, go to https://visit.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/friends-of-the-bodleian Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 46 min
    • video
    Pieces of Gold: Piecing together a mutilated Timurid masterpiece

    Pieces of Gold: Piecing together a mutilated Timurid masterpiece

    Shiva Mihan, Harvard Art Museums and Bahari Visiting Fellow at the Bodleian Libraries, gives a talk on her work in Persian arts. Manuscripts produced in the 15th century under Timurid patrons are among the most exquisite examples of Persian arts of the book. Codices containing sumptuous illuminations and lavish illustrations attracted the mutilating attention of album-makers and art dealers in the 19th and early 20th century. This paper provides evidence of such practices in a unique treasure from Prince Baysunghur’s library: the Rasayil copied in Herat in 830/1427.

    This presentation will share the result of an in-depth codicological analysis of the manuscript (known as the Berenson Anthology) and the textual study of its rare and unique treatises, along with research into other collections and archives, and finally bring together some of the missing pieces and provide a digital reconstruction of the original manuscript.

    This talk will be followed by a drinks reception in Blackwell Hall.

    Presented by the Oxford Bibliographical Society and The Bodleian Library Centre for the Study of the Book.

    • 45 min

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