The library entrance on St John Street, Oxford
|Location||St John Street, Oxford|
|Items collected||The University of Oxford collection specialising in archaeology, art history and classics|
|Legal deposit||receives legal deposit books in relevant subject areas via the Bodleian's copyright receipt office|
|Access and use|
|Access requirements||Current University Card. Bona fide researchers may register to use the Library for reference only.|
The Library was completed in 2001 and opened on 24 September of that year, replacing the former library of the Ashmolean Museum. The library is located at 1 St John Street, to the rear of the Ashmolean. It was founded with a donation by the multi-millionaire Dr Mortimer Sackler.
Designed by architects Robert Adam with Paul Hanvey of ADAM Architecture, it is a distinctive building, as the central block is circular. It is appropriate to its Classical purpose, as one of the outer walls is decorated by a mock-Classical frieze; also, its creators say that the entrance is based upon the Doric Temple of Apollo at Bassae, first excavated by Charles Robert Cockerell, the man who designed the Ashmolean Museum.
Its holdings incorporate the collections of four older libraries, namely the Ashmolean library, the Classics Lending Library, the Eastern Art Library, and the History of Art Library. Major subject areas are:
- Western European Art since c. AD 1000
- History of Art
- Classical and Byzantine art and archaeology
- Papyrology and Greco-Roman Egypt
- Near Eastern archaeology and cuneiform languages
- Egyptology and Coptic
- Ancient history
- Classical languages and literature
- Prehistoric archaeology of Europe and North Africa
- Archaeology of Roman provinces
- Medieval European archaeology
- Theoretical and scientific archaeology
The Heracles Papyrus, a fragment of 3rd century Greek manuscript containing a poem about the Labours of Heracles, is held by the library, along with over 100,000 fragments found at Oxyrhynchus. See also Oxyrhynchus Papyri.