Radcliffe Camera, Oxford

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  • Radcliffe Camera
    by tim07
  • Radcliffe Camera up close
    Radcliffe Camera up close
    by slothtraveller
  • Radcliffe Camera
    by leffe3
  • evaanna's Profile Photo

    Reading room in grand style

    by evaanna Updated Jun 13, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Radcliffe Camera

    When you look at this building, you wouldn't expect it to be just a university reading room. But this grand circular structure, first intended as a science library and founded by the royal physician to William III, Dr John Radcliffe, cost as much as 40,000 pounds to build in the years 1737-1749. The architect was none other but James Gibbs, also famous for designing the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London.
    The Camera - the word means simply a chamber or round building - now serves as the main reading room of the Bodleian Library. A tunnel with a conveyor belt connects the two buildings to facilitate the transfer of books. 600,000 books are also stored in rooms beneath Radcliffe Square. Not to disturb the readers and for the safety of the books, the public are not admitted inside. Never mind, the other buildings of the Bodleian will make it up to you, don't miss them!

    Photo by Barbara Molland

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    Radcliffe Camera

    by martin_nl Updated Oct 15, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Radcliffe Camera

    One of the highlights of Oxford is the Radcliffe Camera on Radcliffe Square. It's a beautifullt made building and is well preserved. The Radcliffe Camera is part of the Bodleian Library. Unfortunately it is not allowed to visit the Camera. Not that you need to the building looks amazing on the outside too.

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    Old Bodleian Library

    by nickandchris Updated Nov 1, 2005

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    Building project
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    This was Oxford University's first central library and the main one. It is the copyright deposit and research centre. Every book ever printed is to be found here.
    It has nine other libraries in seperate locations in Oxford. Included buildings are Duke of Humfrey's library, the old school's quadrangle with the Great Gate and Tower, the Clarendon Building and the Radcliffe Camera. It is not open to the public.
    The Radcliffe Camera, now under scaffolding and being refurbed was built between 1737 and 1749 to house the library of Dr. John Radcliffe. It was incorperated within the Bodeian Library in 1860 and is a Grade 1 listed building.

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    Radcliffe Camera

    by yooperprof Updated Aug 18, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    a lens of knowledge

    "Radcliffe Camera, whose dome gathers the surrounding spires and towers together like a hen her chicks, was built in 1737-1749 from the munificence of Dr. John Radcliffe. The doctor was said to have made twenty guineas a day for years, and to have received 1000 guines from Queen Mary and 1200 from King William III. . . "

    from _John Betjeman's Oxford_, a wonderful guide book.

    The Radcliffe Camera was designed as a library, and still serves that purpose. Its architect was James Gibbs, who was also responsible for two of London's finest 18th century churches, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and St. Mary-le-Strand.

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    A strange library!

    by mindcrime Written Sep 6, 2007

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    The library

    This beautiful building is one of the highlights in Oxford and it’s located on Radcliffe square. It was built in 1737

    In fact it is the reading room of the Bodleian Library but it is not open to the public so you can’t get inside. I never been inside but I’ve been told that there is space for more than 600.000 books!

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  • Nadia7's Profile Photo

    Historical Centre of Oxford

    by Nadia7 Written Dec 26, 2006

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    Radcliffe Camera
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    Radcliffe Camera is a library now, as long as you from Broad Street, High Street or other direction, you step on ancient stony streets and one of them leads you in front of Radcliffe Camera. It just makes you think not only about the architect of such a masterpiece, but also about the hands which built every precise detail of the building. You can touch the stony wall which were touched by the masters of their craft several centuries ago...
    Botanic Gardens are located at High Street, near Magdalen Bridge. I visited this place in October but the Gardens were still full of greenery, some trees and flowers were in blossom. These Gardens have one of the largest collections of flowers and herbs, it's a place good for relaxing and lazy walking.
    Christ Church is located at the Broad walk and St. Aldate's, you can go inside and see where the Oxford students live and eat. The dining hall is stunning...
    Magdalen College, located at High Street and Longwall Street. You have to pay for your admission but it is definitely worth it. There is also a large park with animals and if you are lucky, you can touch them as some of them are not very shy.
    Museum of Natural History, located at Parks Road, admission is free, worldwide natural history collection in a splendid Victorian high gothic building.

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  • aliante1981's Profile Photo

    Radcliffe Camera - Intro

    by aliante1981 Written Nov 30, 2004

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    The Radcliffe Camera - which is the reading room of the Oxford University's Bodleian Library - is probably the most unusual library building I have ever seen (along with the old building of the Bodleian) in terms of architectural excellence.

    Built as far back in time as 1748 by James Gibbs as a memorial o the physician Dr. John Radcliffe (1650-1714), it has the classic shape of a Baroque rotunda with all the appropriate decorations.

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    Radcliffe Camera

    by leffe3 Updated Nov 14, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Built between 1737 and 1749, Radcliffe Camera is one of the most unusual buildings in Oxford and the earliest example in England of a circular library.

    Bequeathed by John Radcliffe, physician to King William III and Queen Mary II, following his death, it took 20 years to negotiate the building of the library - the site selected by Radcliffe had 'minor' problems such as dwellings, a few buildings belonging to Brasenose College (Radcliffe was to be an extension of the adjacent Bodleian Library).

    Built in the English Palladian style, the architect was James Gibbs, who also designed St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, Derby Cathedral and the Fellows' Building, King's College, Cambridge.

    The building is connected to the Bodleian Library by a series of (more contemporary) underground rooms.

    Radcliffe Camera is only accessible to the public as part of a guided tour of the Bodleian Library.

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  • barryg23's Profile Photo

    The Radcliffe Camera

    by barryg23 Updated May 26, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Rad Cam

    The Radcliffe Camera (yet another one named after Radcliffe!) is one of Oxford's most stunning buildings. I don't think tourists can visit this as it's only open to University members. The interior, which is used as a library/study area, is less attractive, though I probably have a bias against it after all the hours I spent in there. Not too many buildings I know of are called Cameras - is this a Latin name??

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  • slothtraveller's Profile Photo

    Radcliffe Camera

    by slothtraveller Written Jun 10, 2008

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    Radcliffe Camera up close

    I found this landmark to be bigger than I expected. Located near the Bodleian library, the camera (just another word for 'room') serves as a reading room for the library. It is not open to the public but you can walk around the exterior.

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  • ultchuk's Profile Photo

    Radcliffe Camera

    by ultchuk Updated Jul 13, 2004

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    Radcliffe Camera

    Radcliffe Camera is a landmark in the inner city of Oxford for sure. The camera (meaning "room") was built 1737-1749.

    Originally the library in the Radcliffe Camera held both scientific and general books, but those collections were gradually moved to other University libraries, so that today the Camera functions as the main reading room of the Bodleian Library which is next to the Camera. The Radcliffe Camera is not open to the public.

    As you can see it was pretty wet when I was there, but then that's England : )

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    Radcliffe Camera...

    by coceng Updated Aug 2, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Radcliffe Camera in Oxford

    Oxford was a Saxon town at a point where River Cherwell meets The Thames.
    The first college was built in the 13th century & one of them was called 'university'.
    Today, there are 39 colleges spreading over Oxford.
    Behing The Radcliffe Camera, I could see tourists coming in & out from the lane leading to a church.
    I was curious...

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    Radcliffe Camera...

    by coceng Written Aug 2, 2004

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Radcliffe Camera in Oxford

    Oxford was a Saxon town at a point where River Cherwell meets The Thames.
    The first college was built in the 13th century & one of them was called 'university'.
    Today, there are 39 colleges spreading over Oxford.
    My first sight of Radcliffe Camera !
    This is a spectacular looking circular library, built in 1748 in the Paladian style.
    'Camera' means room in Italian.
    It's not opened to the public !

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  • coceng's Profile Photo

    Radcliffe Camera...

    by coceng Updated Aug 2, 2004
    Radcliffe Camera in Oxford

    Oxford was a Saxon town at a point where River Cherwell meets The Thames.
    The first college was built in the 13th century & one of them was called 'university'.
    Today, there are 39 colleges spreading over Oxford.
    I could see students coming in & out from The Radcliffe Camera; Also saw the sign 'NOT OPENED FOR PUBLIC'.
    I could sneak in but I didn't have the time to do so...
    The Radcliffe Camera was intended to house a new library, and designs were called for from several leading architects.

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  • Radcliffe Camera

    by sabsi Written Apr 27, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Radcliffe Camera

    The Radcliffe Camera - part of the Bodleian library - has the third largest dome in England. It is not open to public.

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