The late 17th Century Upper Library at The Queen's College, Oxford University, is one of the finest rooms in Oxford. It houses the largest and most diverse collections of rare books in any of the University Colleges. We are delighted to have acquired a quantity of oak bookcases that, for the past 160years have had a supporting role there. See the bookcases under a seperate entry.
This series of bookcases were inserted into the 17th Century library as interval cases in order to house a massive influx of books in the mid 19th Century. Queen's had received a very large bequest in the 1841 from Robert Mason, an Old Member, who stipulated in his will that £30,000 should be spent on the library, and the library only, and be spent within three years. Having shoe-horned the books into the Upper library the Fellows then commissioned C.R.Cockerell (architect of The Ashmolean and Taylor's Institute) to adapt the arcaded undercroft of the 17th century building - glazing the arcades - in order to double the available space. This table has had a long life in the Lower Library and was part of recent disposalsas the new underground library beneath the provost's garden came into use.