Trinity was open for this year’s Oxford Open Doors event, with over 1000 visitors enjoying free access to the Old Library, Chapel, Hall and gardens.
This year the Old Library and adjacent Danson Library were open for the first time, to celebrate the Old Library’s 600th anniversary. Nearly 1000 people queued over the day to get into the libraries, and many others took the chance to see the Chapel and listen to a performance by the vOx choir. Hundreds of visitors also enjoyed cream teas in Hall.
Trinity’s Old or Fellows’ Library was built in 1417 for the monks of Durham College. After Trinity was founded by Sir Thomas Pope in 1555, using the redundant Durham College buildings, the library became, and remains, the Fellows’ Library and now houses the college’s collection of rare and valuable antiquarian books. The shell of the building, including the floor, are original with the bookcases dating back to the early 17th century. The east and south windows contain medieval painted glass, including a rare, intact image of Thomas Becket. The adjacent Danson Library houses an important bequest of first editions, fine colour-plate volumes and other illustrated books. The Library was renovated in 2011.
A range of Trinity’s ‘treasures’ were on display in both libraries, including early printed books, books from Henry VIII’s library and some rare early atlases, botanical, zoological and scientific texts.
Oxford Open Doors is an annual celebration of Oxford across all walks of life, its places and its people. It is run by the Oxford Preservation Trust in partnership with the University of Oxford.