Founded in the 13th century, Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. The history of its great library, the Bodleian, carries us from medieval manuscript to digitized online collections. Its patrons and donors have included monarchs, scholars, statesmen, prime ministers, princes of the church, and captains of industry. Religious iconoclasm, civil and world wars, and economic depressions have threatened the Bodleian, but it has survived triumphant. It is crammed with treasures from a 1217 copy of the Magna Carta to J. R. R. Tolkien’s own dust jacket art for The Hobbit. This illustrated lecture is for all who love books and libraries. Susan Beegel holds a PhD in English from Yale University. A 20 year resident of Nantucket Island, and now a resident of Phippsburg, she is a Research Associate of the Williams College-Mystic Seaport Maritime Studies Program. She is also Editor in Chief of The Hemingway Review.