• A brief history

    Founded in 1950 by a group of young bibliophiles headed by John Granger, Bent Juel-Jensen, and R. John Rickett, the first meeting of the Oxford University Society of Bibliophiles was held in Hilary Term, 1951...

    For fifty years, the Society held regular lectures, visits and other events during the University terms, and many of the leading bibliographers, librarians, collectors, booksellers and other literary figures of the period spoke to the Society or hosted visits. Many of the Society's Junior Members became prominent figures in the world of books, and some served as Senior Members of the Society.
    After an extended hiatus in the early 2000s, the Society was refounded in Trinity Term, 2008, by a new generation of Oxford students led by Geri Della Rocca de Candal, Enrico Emanuele Prodi, and Matthew Cheung Salisbury, and aided by Cristina Dondi, Richard Ovenden, and a few surviving members of the former Society (notably Colin Franklin and Paul W. Nash). Many are still active Members of the Society. 
    Today, the Society meets weekly in various venues around Oxford (or further afield) for visits to libraries, talks on manuscripts, or discussions on the preservation and collection of books -- amongst much else. Please find our current term card below.
  • Term card | HIlary term 2020


    Week 1*

    Friday 24 January, 2-3pm

    A viewing of medieval musical manuscripts of Magdalen College

    Speaker: Dr Giovanni Varelli

    Magdalen College, Old Library


    Week 2

    Friday 31 January, 4-6pm

    Bookbinding – a crash course

    Speaker: Dr Jane Griffiths

    Magdalen College, Daubeny Labs


    Week 3*

    Friday 7 February, 4:15-5:30pm

    ‘Dictionaries and Typography’

    Speaker: Professor Paul Luna

    ‘Democratising Printing, 1800–1980’

    Speaker: Dr Rob Banham

    Weston Library, Horton Room


    Week 4*

    Friday 14 February, 3-4pm

    A viewing of Gerard Manley Hopkins manuscripts

    Campion Hall


    Week 5*

    Friday 21 February, 4-5pm

    Highlights of the Merton College collection

    Merton College, Old Library


    Week 6

    Friday 28 February, 4:45-5:30pm

    Books which aren’t books: strange things at the Bodleian

    Weston Library, Horton Room


    Week 7

    Tuesday 3 March, 5:45pm

    Warden’s Meeting

    Hosted by Professor Henry Woudhuysen

    Lincoln College, Rector’s Lodgings


    Week 8

    Monday 9 March, 2-3:30pm

    A viewing of medieval manuscripts of Christ Church

    Speakers: Professor Ralph Hanna and Dr David Rundle

    Christ Church Library


    *please RSVP to oxford.bibliophiles@gmail.com





  • Junior Committee | HILARY Term 2020



    Jacob Ridley (Magdalen)

    Jacob is a third-year undergrad in English Literature. His degree got a whole lot more interesting when he started to consider the material presentation of literary texts, and the circumstances of their production and publication. His research focuses on the earliest printing of dramatic texts in English, the vernacular output of Wynkyn De Worde, and the history of editing. The highlight of his degree so far was going to seven different Oxford libraries to examine fifteen copies of the same book, which presumably makes him the world-expert in Edmund Gibson's edition of Polemo-Middinia (Oxford: Sheldonian, 1691). This is because, as far as he knows, no-one else has ever bothered to study it.
    The only photograph he could locate of himself looking smart is from someone else's matriculation selfie, wearing a wonky tie.


    Daniel Fried (New College)

    Daniel is reading for his MSt in English (1550-1700). In the second year of his BA (also at New College), he discovered that learning how and why texts take the material forms that they do is as important as their content. He has his tutor, a member of the Senior Committee of this Society, to thank for that.


    In particular, Daniel enjoys thinking about how material collections are presented in books. His bibliographical research has two branches: how the early Royal Society went about cataloguing; and how Oxford libraries in the early seventeenth century went about cataloguing. There might even be some crossover.


    Most of Daniel's work, however, is on John Milton.


    Constanta Burlacu (Merton College)

    Constanta is a Slavist (yes, they exist!), starting her DPhil in history of the book this year. She focuses on 16th Century mainly, and looks eastwards rather than westwards. Her research aims at better understanding book circulation in Romanian and Balkan areas in a time of Ottoman invasions, protestant reformations, and intellectual rationalism. When it comes to books, she definitely considers them to be fine objects, which we have to learn to appreciate, preserve, and ultimately love.


    Caroline Caruso Carter (St John's College)

    I’m Caroline- a second year biochemist at John’s and this year’s Treasurer for the Bibliophile Society. I’ve been doing calligraphy for about 5 years, which is how I got interested in old books. I absolutely love seeing how the styles have changed over time, as well as trying to replicate them myself!

  • Senior Committee

    The Senior Committee oversees the day-to-day organizational work of the Junior Committee

    Honorary President

    Henry Woudhuysen FBA, Rector, Lincoln College

    Honorary Vice-President

    Paul W. Nash, Bodleian Libraries

    Senior Committee

    Geri Della Rocca de Candal, Lincoln College

    Cristina Dondi, Lincoln College

    Colin Franklin, The Other House, Culham

    Giles Mandelbrote, Lambeth Palace Library

    Scott Mandelbrote, Peterhouse, Cambridge

    Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian

    William Poole, New College

    Julia Walworth, Merton College

  • Membership & Contact Details

    Join the Bibliophiles today: Junior Membership for current members of Oxford University is £5/term, £10/year, and £25 for three years, or the length of your degree. Membership is also open to Senior Members with a strong interest in books at £10/term, £20/year and £50 for three years. Simply come along to our next event, or get in touch using the email below.
    Also: we'd love to hear from you! Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions about the Society and its events. 

    Please drop us an email, or come along to any event
    Senior Member
    Cristina Dondi (Lincoln College)
    Constanta Burlacu 
    (Merton College)