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Bodleian Libraries get £1.5 million for digitisation

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A gift of £1.5 million has been given to the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford. This money will support library digitisation initiatives and digital imaging facilities in the redeveloped New Bodleian Library (to be known as the Weston Library upon reopening).

The Weston Library will feature a state-of-the-art studio for digital imaging where the most valuable and fragile printed books and papers from the Bodleian can be scanned and made accessible online. A range of materials in the Bodleian will also be transformed to promote interdisciplinary research and scholarship. Among items selected for digitisation in 2010- 2011 will be Oxford theses, Islamic manuscripts, and a portion of Oxford’s Genizah fragments. Future years will bring support for a variety of digitisation initiatives in the humanities and social sciences.

The donation is from Leonard Polonsky, an alumnus Lincoln College, Oxford and executive chairman of Hansard Global, an international financial services institution. This is part of a £78 million redevelopment of the New Bodleian Library to transform it into a major research centre and a significant new cultural centre.