Christ Church Library Exhibitions


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 is preparing 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 explores 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 will be 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 is taking 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 considersthe place of the Western manuscripts within the wider context of the Library’s eclectic riches. It delineates how what we now know as its ‘special collections’ came to be owned by Christ Church and considers 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 will launch a major exhibition, Jewish Books and their Christian Readers: Christ Church Connections, curated by Dr Rahel Fronda. The four cases display 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 is 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 will re-open on 23 January 2017.

Hakluyt@400 Exhibition and Events

As Hakluyt’s old college, Christ Church Library is a key site for this commemorative series and will make a distinctive contribution to it. Events will start with the opening of the exhibition Hakluyt and Geography in Oxford 1550–1650. This exhibition will be launched on 14 October 2016 with a symposium at Christ Church on Renaissance scientific instruments. In November, events will include workshops on scientific instruments from the Christ Church collection by Dr Allan Chapman and Dr Johnston. We are also planning 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 will be on display in the spectacular Upper Library at Christ Church. This special exhibition showcases 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 presents Sir John Beazley's work and assesses his lasting influence on the study of ancient Greek pottery. The exhibition runs 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 is 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.