minstrel: The Ballad Book

Rockall Herald/Auntie Jen elp003 at bangor.ac.uk
Sat Feb 22 06:13:00 PST 1997

The Bodleian Library is *the* main library of Oxford University.  It 
comprises what Americans would think of as at least three city blocks.  
That includes the undergound bits underneath the roads.  It is, and has 
been, a copyright library for a *very long* time.  It is *not* a lending 
library, but Americans can join *Friends of the Bodleian* for something 
like twenty dollars a year, which should (it used to) include perusing 
privileges should you find yourself on the correct continent.  Be warned, 
however, and order your books well in advance--a three-day wait, 
especially for old stuff, is not only heard of, but average. It makes 
the BL (British Library) look good.

As a pedantic aside, each college in Oxford (no, there is no campus or 
contiguous University) also has its own library, which is mainly supplied 
by old dead alumni and can therefore be rather random, though the bent of 
the collection will *usually* coincide with each college's interests 
(Jesus is predominantly Welsh, etc.).  There is also the Ashmolean Museum, 
which has some archives, and which comprises the collection of Elias Ashmole.

I understand Cambridge has a lending library.  College libraries will be 
similar. But Cambridge is infinitely inferior to Oxford;-)  (You thought 
Ivy league rivalries were bad--Oxbridge has been at it for almost eight 

That Damned Scot.

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