Somerville College Library, Oxford, UK

Sir Basil Champneys
Date Built
Sumerville College
Somerville's Library, designed by Sir Basil Champneys, is eleven bays wide and clad in red brick with stone dressings.  At the centre is an arched loggia.  The college's website points out that, "...It was notable not just because it was the first purpose-built library amongst the women's colleges at Oxford but also because of its sheer size.  Taking up the whole north wing of the Main Quad at Somerville, it was designed to house 60,000 volumes at a time when the library only possessed 6,000.  This far-sightedness was justified and now the library (with several extensions and outposts) boasts a collection of around 120,000 items, one of the largest undergraduate College libraries in the University."

At one point in its history, the ground floor was used as student accommodation and among its residents was Indira Ghandi who, according to the college's history, found the accommodation very drafty.  During World War One the college was used as a hospital for convalescing officers, including both Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves.

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