Bodleian Library, the public library of the university of Oxford, so called from Sir Thomas Bodley, who restored it toward the close of the 16th century, many of the previous collections of books and MSS. having been destroyed during the reign of Edward VI. Besides restoring the building and providing a fund of £2,000 for the purchase of books, he also presented a collection which he had made on the continent valued at £10,000, and left an estate for the maintenance of officers and for keeping the library in repair. For the government of the library he drew up statutes, which were afterward incorporated with those of the university. The library was first opened to the public Nov. 8, 1602. The example of Bodley was soon followed by the earl of Essex, who presented part of the library of the Portuguese bishop Oso-rius, which had been captured by him in 1596, shortly after the expedition against Cadiz. After the death of Bodley, the earl of Pembroke added a valuable collection of Greek MSS., procured by Baroccio, a Venetian. At later dates Sir Thomas Roe, Sir Kenelm Digby, Selden, Gough the antiquary, and Archbishop Laud made donations of valuable Greek, oriental, and German MSS. The rabbinical collections of the Hebrew scholar Oppenheim, a great collection of eastern MSS., of early editions of the Bible, original editions of ancient and classic authors, together with 50,000 dis-| sertations by members of foreign universities, and an extensive collection of medals, coins, prints, etc, were also subsequently deposited in this library.
In 1809 the traveller Clarke gave to it some rare Greek and Latin MSS., including a Plato from the isle of Patmos. In 1818 an exceedingly valuable collection of Hebrew, Greek, and Arabic MSS., procured from Venice, was added, together with a portion of the famed library of Richard Heber (1834); and lastly, the rare books, MSS., and coins of Francis Douce. The library is constantly increasing by donations, by copies of every work printed in the United Kingdom, to which it is entitled by the copyright law, as well as the books purchased from the fund left by Bodley, by fees received at matriculation, and by an annual payment of all persons (servitors excepted) who have the right of admission to the library. The library now contains about 300,000 printed volumes.
The Bodleian Library.