Bodleian Library

Aluminium windows installed in the “New University Library” at Oxford University nearly 70 years ago are highlighting aluminium’s extraordinary long service life. The building designed by Giles Gilbert Scott and built between 1937 and 1939 was a much needed addition to the Bodleian Library whose collections are used by scholars from around the world.
Toby Kirtley who is the Estates Projects Officer for the Oxford University Library Services comments, “We are amazed at the quality of these windows which have been in the building almost 70 years. We undertake cleaning twice a year and only service any of the windows should a piece of glass be broken and need replacing. The hardware is all original and has been designed with brass bushes for a good life expectancy – I wonder if the builder and architect thought that the windows would still be performing this well after 70 years?”

The New University Library was commandeered by Navy Intelligence shortly after completion and much of the D-Day photography was processed and reviewed in the building. The building also became a repository of all the work being carried out at the time in World War II code-breaking. In 1946 the building was eventually handed back to the University and was opened by H.M. King George VI, on October 24th. Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect, is also remembered for his design of the Battersea Power Station and the famous British red K2 telephone box amongst many other British landmarks

The Bodleian Library, completed in 1939 has anodised aluminium framed windows that have provide over 70 years of service to Oxford University.

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