Corpus is delighted to announce that planning permission and listed building consent for the Special Collections Centre was granted by Oxford City Council at the end of last week.  

The Council considers that “the proposal will accord with the special character and appearance of the conservation area”. The project will deliver much needed improvements to our library facilities; it will enhance the security and accessibility of our special collections and facilitate the future study needs of a networked generation.

Last year, architects Wright & Wright (whose previous work includes libraries at St John’s, Magdalen and Corpus Christi, Cambridge) were asked to come up with a scheme that minimised the impact on the College’s historic character while delivering the highest standards of modern storage and reader space.

Our plans include a new façade looking onto the College car park that will replace the existing twentieth-century garage and flat; a new entrance to the enlarged Library at the current entrance to Staircase 6 (affording first floor access to the existing library for users with mobility needs); three new general reading rooms alongside a secure area where Corpus’s unique collection of manuscripts and early printed books can be read in ideal climatic and lighting conditions; and 35 new reader spaces for Corpus members and four additional spaces within the Special Collections area for researchers. An additional 40% shelving will also be created for the storage of our manuscripts and early printed books as well as for the relocation of books currently stored in the lower rooms in the old Library.   

Read more about the project in the forthcoming December issue of the Sundial.