The Trust Travels to England: Our Time in Oxford

Broad Street, Oxford
The Trust takes a walking tour of Broad Street with Balliol College in the distance

Members of the Trust are currently in England for this fall’s Study Trip Abroad: British Libraries and Country Houses. To revisit the trip itinerary, you can see it on the Trust website, or you can follow along with us on the blog and learn about the places we are visiting as we go.

Our first few days of this trip were spent in Oxford. Beginning with a walking tour of Broad Street and a visit to the Bodleian Library, our first day brought the wonderful opportunity to see the work of architects Christopher Wren, James Gibbs, and Nicholas Hawkmoor. In addition to Wren’s famous door into the Bodleian Library, we saw the Sheldonian Theatre at the University of Oxford. And the next day we had the pleasure of seeing Wren’s Tom Tower at Christ Church.

The work of architect Christopher Wren--the door to the Bodeleian Library, the Sheldonian Theatre, and Tom Tower at Christ Church
The Trust admires the work of architect Christopher Wren–the door to the Bodeleian Library, the Sheldonian Theatre, and Tom Tower at Christ Church

Our first day also took us to the Radcliffe Camera, work of architect James Gibbs, originally built to house physician John Radcliffe’s library. Today the Camera contains two undergraduate reading rooms at the University.

James Gibbs's Radcliffe Camera
James Gibbs’s Radcliffe Camera

While in Oxford, we had the pleasure of visiting both the library at Merton College, the world’s oldest continuously functioning library for academics, and the Getty Library at Wormsley, which celebrates the Art of the Book.

The library at Merton College and the Getty Library at Wormsley
                  The library at Merton College and the Getty Library at Wormsley

Other notable stops in Oxford included the opportunity to see two wonderful porcelain collections. At the Ashmolean Museum, we saw the Marshall Collection of Worcester porcelain, the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of Worcester porcelain. Also at the Ashmolean museum, we saw some to the Kunstkammer objects the museum received when Michael Wellby died in 2012. The museum plans to open a gallery dedicated to the Wellby Collection in 2015. The second notable porcelain collection we saw was the Sèvres collection at Waddesdon Manor.

The Marshall Collection and the Wellby Collection at the Ashmolean Museum and the Sèvres porcelain at Waddesdon Manor
The Marshall Collection and the Wellby Collection at the Ashmolean Museum and the Sèvres porcelain at Waddesdon Manor

Our adventures in England have only just begun. There is more to come from Cambridge and Tetbury. We’ll share some initial photos from the tours in these locations in the upcoming days, and we will follow up with even more details when we return. The Trust would love for members to share comments along the way, and if you have questions or want to know more about the places we visited or the collections we saw, please ask. We look forward to sharing more about our trip with everyone.

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