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Face it, college library is looking beautiful
Buy this photo » Victoria Nelson, of Cliveden Conservation, gets a close look at Apollo on the library ceiling
IT HAS been described as the most beautiful room in Oxford.
And now the 18th century upper library at The Queen’s College is getting a major makeover.
The £2m facelift includes installing new heating, restoring the stonework and stained glass windows and repairing the roof.
Dr Linda Irving-Bell, home bursar at the High Street college, said: “The upper library has been called by some people the most beautiful room in Oxford.
“The ceiling itself is in amazing condition.
“Our students say they feel the biggest privilege is we don’t ban them. This is a working library.”
Dr Irving-Bell said: “It is the biggest major refurbishment since it was built in the 1700s.
“It will not only restore the historic fabric. It is going to make it a much better and more comfortable environment for the students to work in.
“The main thing in there is it used to be freezing cold in the winter and baking hot in the summer, so that is going to change.”
As part of the revamp, new chairs will be installed and the bookcases have been cleaned and polished.
The lower library has already been refurbished and is again open to the college’s 330 undergraduates and 130 graduates.
The upper library restoration is due to be completed in February.
During the work, the team has found some unusual items, including a business card tucked into one of the lower library ceiling roses, suggesting repair work was carried out in 1938. The library is not open to the public, but Dr Irving-Bell said the college is hoping to look at ways people could get to see it.