Queen’s is a small, but perfectly formed, classical site. Our existing 17th century library is famously beautiful but, by itself, inadequate for current needs. We have risen to the challenge of bringing a modern, flexible learning space into the heart of the College by building underground (beneath the Provost’s Garden). The extension is filled with natural light and connected to the main library at one end, where students will work on a daily basis, whilst providing bespoke storage and access for our historic and archive collections towards the rear.
This project is both a statement of intent and a practical aid to transforming and modernising the College’s academic culture and its performance. We have created learning spaces that accommodate the way scholars study and learn, individually and together, today and for the future.
We have a natural home for the development of interdisciplinary research clusters, so important for our graduate students, for whom we previously had only limited provision.
This project brings the whole academic community together, working in a research centre based on the widest possible range of source material, from medieval manuscripts to the latest digital resources. There are inspiring exhibition and social learning spaces alongside the 55 extra reading spaces created for everyday study. This makes the library one of the largest in Oxford.
Our historic collections (amongst the finest nationally), are now stored in optimum conditions; previously they were largely inaccessible, remaining invisible in scattered locations. With the New Library they become readily available to scholars from around the world.
This exciting new space brings a modern aesthetic into the College. It creates outstanding research and study facilities and will inspire students of today and for generations to come.
Prof P A Madden FRS FRSE