Christ Church Library Exhibitions


From Lexicography to the Irrational: Liddell and Scott and E.R. Dodds

A new exhibition will open in the Upper Library at Christ Church on 5 December 2019, at 5:30 pm. The event will be launching two books published by Oxford University Press: Liddell & Scott, edited by Christopher Stray, Michael Clarke and Joshua T. Katz; and Rediscovering E. R. Dodds, edited by Christopher Stray, Christopher Pelling and Stephen Harrison.


Nature within the Pages: Flora, Fauna, Anatomy and the rest of the World (17 May-30 November 2019)

This exhibition explores the illustration and explanation of the Natural World, from imaginative interpretations of hyenas and hedgehogs, to engravings of wind, and even through the microscope for a closer look at ‘animalcules’. See how illustrations have been used to assist in the spread of knowledge in the Natural Sciences and the important role they played in a time before photography.

Thinking 3D: The Mathematics of Space (20 February-10th May 2019)

"The Mathematics of Space" at Christ Church is part of the "Thinking 3D" series of events organised in the UK during 2018-2019. This is a project focused on the development of techniques and technologies used to communicate three-dimensional forms in two-dimensional media. The exhibition at Christ Church aimed to highlight the role of the college in teaching geometry and astronomy at Oxford during the 17th and 18th centuries. Thematically, it mainly focused on exploring the impact of Euclid, Archimedes, Serenus and Pappus of Alexandria on both art and early modern geometry. Also on show in the Upper Library were treatises on the study of perspective by Luca Pacioli, Jean François Nicéron, Joseph Moxon and Albrecht Dürer, as well as manuscripts by early modern mathematicians like David Gregory, Charles Scarborough, Willebrord Snell, Nicolas Mercator and Edmund Halley.

Winckelmann and Curiosity in the 18th-Century Gentleman's Library (29 June-30 November 2018)

To commemorate the Winckelmann anniversaries 2017/2018, Christ Church Library prepared an exhibition and series of events in collaboration with the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, University of Reading and the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford. The exhibition explored the German scholar's varied influence on the arts in Britain, through printed media and decorative arts.

Temporary exhibition in the Upper Library (26-28 September 2018)

Sir Dimitri Obolensky FBA ( 1918-2001)
Professor of Russian and Balkan History 1961-1985

The Centenary of Dimitri Obolensky, one of the most distinguished Oxford historians of recent times is being celebrated in Christ Church Upper Library by an exhibition drawn from his recently catalogued papers. It was opened by the Dean of Christ Church the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy and other speakers at 5-30 on Wednesday 26th September. On the following two days an international conference took place at Worcester College on the themes and importance now of his major work ‘The Byzantine Commonwealth’.

Singing Books: Text, Object and Song in the International Madrigal (8 March - 22 June 2018)

Christ Church has one of the finest collections of English and Italian madrigals in the world and a history of music-making within the library. It is the perfect site for this combined exhibition and concert series which explores the relationship between madrigal music, words and the physical objects of music scores in the library's historic collections.

More than a House for Books (2 November 2017 - 23 February 2018)

The exhibition curated by David Rundle and Cristina Neagu considered the place of the Western manuscripts within the wider context of the Library’s eclectic riches. It delineateed how what we now know as its ‘special collections’ came to be owned by Christ Church and considered what that tells us about the purpose and scope of a library.

Jewish Books and their Christian Readers: Christ Church Connections (22 May - 20 October 2017)

The EAJS conference Jewish Books and their Christian Collectors in Europe, the New World and Czarist Russia launched a major exhibition, Jewish Books and their Christian Readers: Christ Church Connections, curated by Dr Rahel Fronda, displaying the wealth of Hebraica and Judaica at Christ Church and around, following the story of Hebrew studies in Oxford from the late 16th century until the end of 18th century. The exhibition was accompanied by a detailed scholarly catalogue in print. This exhibition has benefited from the generous collaboration of the Bodleian Library, Oxford Conservation Consortium, Lincoln College, Merton College, Queens' College in Cambridge, as well as the Westminster Abbey.

The Miniature Stage - 19th Century English Toy Theatre in Christ Church Collections (returning to the Library in Hilary Term 2017)

Among the many treasures of Christ Church Library is a very little known, but extraordinarily valuable and huge collection of theatrical ephemera donated by Francis Bridgford Brady in 1977. Containing tens of thousands of items ranging in date from the 17th to 20th centuries, the collection spans a range of theatrical and entertainment subjects and is an invaluable primary resource for entertainment and wider social history. The exhibition re-opened on 23 January 2017.

Hakluyt@400 Exhibition and Events

As Hakluyt’s old college, Christ Church Library was a key site for this commemorative series and made a distinctive contribution to it. Events started with the opening of the exhibition Hakluyt and Geography in Oxford 1550–1650. This exhibition was launched on 14 October 2016 with a symposium at Christ Church on Renaissance scientific instruments. In November, events included workshops on scientific instruments from the Christ Church collection by Dr Allan Chapman and Dr Johnston; plus, a two-day international conference, Hakluyt and the Discovery of the World, on 24 November at Christ Church, and on 25 November at the Bodleian Library.

Tudor Partbooks and the Music Collection

From 12 May 2016, a selection of Oxford’s early music treasures were on display in the spectacular Upper Library at Christ Church. This special exhibition showcased the music-books used by singers in the age of Queen Elizabeth I, with special emphasis placed on partbooks – matching sets of volumes in which each singer views only her or his own voice-part.

Beazley and Christ Church - 250 Years of Scholarship on Greek Vases

The exhibition presented Sir John Beazley's work and assessed his lasting influence on the study of ancient Greek pottery. The exhibition was open from 26 January to 3 May 2016.

Robert Hooke's Micrographia and Christ Church Science, 1650-1670

Running from 5 November 2015 to 15 January 2016, to mark the 350th anniversary of the publication of Robert Hooke's Micrographia, the first book of microscopy. The event was organized at Christ Church, where Hooke was an undergraduate from 1653 to 1658.

Lewis Carroll and the Art of Photography

During summer of 2015, Christ Church Library hosted an exhibition of Lewis Carroll photographs. This exhibition navigated the medium's early history, bringing together a selection of photographs from the Library's archives, as well as (on loan) from an extensive private collection.

Copper Impressions: Printmakers and Publishing in the 18th Century

The exhibition illustrated what might have been printed on a wooden intaglio rolling press that was located in the Upper Library.