Sackler Library

Oxford University – Bodleian Libraries

“a conversation between the architecture of Ancient Rome, fifth-century Greece and 20th-century Sweden.” Jeremy Melvin

A research library for Archaeology, Art History and Classics (Ancient History and Literature) (Adam Architecture, 2001).


Entrance pavilion

A circular pavilion on St John Street forms the entrance to this library, which comprises a small group of buildings dominated by an imposing classical rotunda. The library has incorporated the collections of the former Ashmolean Library, and provides reading areas, a rare books room, and a classics lending library.

Completed at the start of the new millennium, the Sackler Library references the architecture of classical Rome. The pavilion was specifically identified by Robert Adam as based on the Temple of Apollo at Bassae, built between 450 and 400 BC, which was excavated by the architect of the adjacent Ashmolean Museum, C R Cockerell. Shortly after completing this building, Robert Adam founded the Traditional Architecture Group, affiliated to the RIBA, to promote classical and traditional architecture and urbanism in Britain.

1 St John Street, Oxford OX1 2LG

References: Jeremy Melvin, ‘Building Study – Sackler Library, University of Oxford – Classical education,’ RIBA Journal, 17 Jan 2002 [WWW].

Sackler Library, Ashmolean Museum


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