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further Bodleian Library adventures

Books + Ideas, Oxford — November 2011

Further adventures with the Bodleian Library system have gone well.

At the Radcliffe Science library I asked for a map at the information desk and was sitting at a comfortable desk with my laptop and the book I was after (David Archer's The Long Thaw) within five minutes.

And today I visited the Radcliffe Camera (to look up some definitions of "medieval") and the Gladstone Link (where I read Glen Dudbridge's Lost Books of Medieval China).

Somehow I've hit yet another book the Bodleian doesn't have a copy of, in this case Hyman Minsky's Can "It" Happen Again? Essays on Instability and Finance. But I emailed the Social Sciences Library with a brief explanation of why this was an important book, especially since 2007, and got a response within a day saying they would purchase a copy and asking if I would like to be emailed when it arrived!

With that coming on top of a librarian turning up on this blog in person and offering to help me solve a problem, I can hardly complain about the Bodleian service so far. Especially since I'm a lowly external reader, right at the bottom of the hierarchy of users.

The facilities overall are pretty impressive, too. They remind me a bit of the Science and Technology library at Sydney Uni, which opened not long before we left. One big plus over the library at Sydney is that external library users here get access to the wireless network.

I'm wondering now if I could try not just to visit every library in the Bodleian system — more than fifty, even excluding the college libraries — but to read a book from each one. It wouldn't be much of a pub crawl if one didn't drink anything, would it?

2 Comments »

  1. In Aussie speak you are as happy as a pig in mud now that you have your Bodleian adventures underway. (Or is it as happy as larry?)

    BTW I am in Xi'an the ancient capital of China. It was a long rail journey of just under 26 hrs.from Sth. China. It is a little too long but a good learning experience.

    Xi'an is best known for the entombed terracotta warriors. You have to be here to get a true perspective of the discovery, I think it pales into insignificance any other archaeological finds. And we ain't seen nothing yet. The best is awaiting to be dug up. The first emperor's tomb is measure in km sq !! Many people refuse to die because they want to see the contents in the huge underground cavern.

    Comment by DL — November 2011
  2. I've gone looking for another book the Bodleian doesn't have, in this case Martin Gainsborough's Vietnam: Rethinking the State. This is, I suspect, the same problem I had with The Development of Atmospheric General Circulation Models, where the Bod is still waiting on its copyright deposit copy.

    Both books were published towards the end of 2010, though, so it seems there's a year and a half delay before deposit copies (at least from some publishers) turn up.

    Comment by danny — April 2012

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