Saturday 21st March 2015

Days such as last Saturday do not come along too often. Not only was it the start of the annual Oxford Literary Festival but it was also the unveiling of the once-in-a-lifetime exhibition Marks of Genius at the newly refurbished Weston Library (formerly known as the New Bodleian).

DSCF4107The whole of Broad Street was buzzing with excitement and no little awe as thousands descended on our little corner of Oxford.

Some were here just for the Festival, some for the Exhibition, many for both. Not only was Broad Street heaving but Twitter got in on the act too:



So, to the Marks of Genius exhibition – 130 of the most special treasures of the Bodleian Library presented to the public. It is impossible to convey the importance that this astonishing collection has had on civilisation – from science to art, religion to literature. It truly is breathtaking:


The Gutenberg Bible – one of only forty eight surviving copies

By all means take a look at the exhibition website, but seeing these items for yourself cannot be recommended highly enough. AND. IT. IS. FREE.

We have put together a Marks of Genius Collection in our Norrington Room with books chosen to complement the exhibition. Even if I say so myself it looks very handsome


To see this tweet from Ricahard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian did, quite frankly, make my day.


The Oxford Literary Festival may be considerably younger than the Bodleian but it has become one of the essential parts of the cultural calendar of Oxford. For the second year we were asked to provide the marquee and, with us being us, we decided to substantially increase the space that we gave to books this time. So not only is there a full A-Z run of books by Festival authors but there is table upon table of some of our favourite books.

DSCF4189smallFrom early on the marquee was packed. Nestled between the Sheldonian Theatre and the Bodleian library is really is a book lovers paradise.


We were at each of the venues selling books for such luminaries as Simon Schama, Cressida Cowell and Eric Kandel to name but three.

And so we move on from this exhilarating day. The Festival is in town until Sunday 29th, Marks of Genius runs until September the 20th and the Weston Library will stand gorgeous and proud for generations to come. We are honoured to stand next to it in a supportive, neighbourly fashion.

The eastern end of Broad Street has never looked better.




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