There is heavy traffic in Oxford, and much of the city centre is now closed to private traffic. Fortunately, most of the University area can be comfortably covered on foot or bicycle. Secondhand bicycles can be hired or bought and local bus services are excellent.
Oxford is also well served by national road and rail links. A direct 24-hour coach service connects the city with London, and with Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
The city and surrounding area are home to various industries including a growing number of high-technology companies in areas such as IT and biosciences, which have developed from University research or are attracted by the proximity of the University. Oxford is also a major tourist centre.
Students at Oxford enjoy a wealth of opportunity to involve themselves in music, as listeners and performers, and at all levels. At the top end the University boasts student orchestras of professional calibre (notably the Oxford University Orchestra and the Philharmonia), and choirs of renown (Christ Church, Magdalen and New College, along with the Schola Cantorum).
Other levels of accomplishment are catered for by college music societies, many of which run ambitious programmes of chamber, orchestral and vocal music. Opera is represented by at least two University-based organizations. Other organizations within the University cater for almost every other conceivable interest, from Soul to Jazz, from Indian to contemporary.
Oxford plays host to musicians from far and wide, including opera companies from Glynbourne and Cardiff, and orchestras of distinction such as the CBSO and the orchestra of St John's Smith Square. And if you feel there is something missing, Oxford is the ideal place to do your own thing with the unlimited musical talent the University has at its disposal.
The University provides a spring-board for sportsmen and women to achieve at county, national and international level, partly because of excellent sporting facilities at college and University level. The majority of colleges provide sports grounds, squash courts and boat houses on the river Isis for the annual inter-college rowing competition, 'Eights'.
The University provides generous sporting facilities in all areas including sports not normally available at college level, such as volleyball, athletics, fencing and judo. Many of these facilities are located at the Iffley Road Sports Complex, which also boasts a modern multi-gym, an all-weather track, and a newly-opened artificial hockey pitch. Association football, lawn tennis and rugby are also catered for at this site, along with a rowing tank and gymnasium. A 25-metre swimming pool should be completed soon.
Sources of Knowledge
The Bodleian Library is the principal library of the University, taking its name from Sir Thomas Bodley who refounded it on the site of an earlier library. It was opened in 1602 and has an unbroken history from that time. When publishing and copyright became subject to statute the Bodleian became, and remains, one of the libraries of legal deposit. Material published elsewhere than in Great Britain and Ireland is extensively acquired, mainly by purchase.
The Library's collections are housed in several buildings. The central group consists of the Old Library, the Radcliffe Camera, the New Library, and the Clarendon Building. A large part of the Library's holdings of some seven million volumes is housed in the bookstacks of the New Library. Reading rooms on the central site contain on open access selected material on English language and literature, history, theology, classics, bibliography, education, music, geography, philosophy, politics and economics, management studies, Latin American studies and Slavonic and East European studies. Western manuscripts and early printed books are normally consulted in Duke Humfrey's Library within the Old Library, and the Modern Papers reading room in the New Library. Oriental books and manuscripts are consulted in the Oriental Reading Room.
Books on science and medicine, law, South Asian studies, Japanese studies, the Middle East and China (teaching and loan collection) and Eastern Art, and American and Commonwealth history, are kept in other libraries within the group, described separately below.
The majority of printed accessions are listed in the OLIS online catalogue, which may be consulted on terminals throughout the Bodleian. Terminals in all reading rooms in the Bodleian may be used to connect to OxLIP, a range of electronic resources, bibliographic and full-text, in all subject areas, mounted both on the local network and on remote computers. These resources are also available from other workstations connected to the University network in colleges, faculties and departments. Workstations also give access to the Bodleian catalogue of pre-1920 books, both via OLIS and on CD ROM. The Chinese and Japanese catalogues are partially recorded in original script on the Allegro system and may be accessed via the network or the Internet. Work on converting the card catalogues is well advanced.
Students formally registered with the University are entitled to readership upon complying with certain formalities; arrangements will be made through their colleges. The central Bodleian is not a lending library, nor are readers in general admitted to the bookstacks. There are facilities for reading microform material, and photographic and photocopying services. Readers may use their own laptop computers.
More detailed information about the Library as a whole may be found in A general guide to the Bodleian Library and its dependent libraries, and about the Central Bodleian in Guide to the Central Bodleian Library. Both are obtainable free at the Library and in PDF format from the Library's web pages.
Museum of the History of Science
The Museum of the History of Science, housed in the Old Ashmolean Building in Broad Street, is primarily a museum of scientific instruments of historical interest. The very fine building was erected by the University to house the collections of Elias Ashmole (1617-92), and to serve for lectures in natural philosophy and as a chemical laboratory; it was opened in 1683. The Ashmolean Museum (now in Beaumont Street) remained in the building until the end of the 19th century. The building became a museum again in 1925, after the Lewis Evans Collection was accepted by the University and placed in the upper gallery; in 1935 the scientific collections had so increased in size and scope that the name was changed to the Museum of the History of Science.
Substantial donations, loans, and purchases have continued to augment the collections, which comprise:
1. The Lewis Evans and Billmeir collections of mathematical, time-telling, and surveying instruments, including a remarkable collection of armillary spheres, astrolabes, quadrants, and sundials, dating from the medieval period to the 19th century2. The Barnett and Beeson collections of clocks and watches, especially rich in clocks and watches made by Oxfordshire craftsmen3. Astronomical instruments derived from the Savilian and Radcliffe Observatories, from the Royal Astronomical Society, and other sources, including exceptionally interesting instruments from the 17th and 18th centuries4. The Clay collection of optical instruments, which includes many early microscopes, the Royal Microscopical Society's collection of early microscopes, and a large collection of telescopes and other optical instruments
Beyond these discrete collections, the Museum contains a wealth of apparatus and instruments covering a broad spectrum of the history of science. Its collections are especially strong from the medieval period until the early 19th century.
The Museum has recently undergone major refurbishment, with new displays, and, in the basement, a special exhibitions gallery, education room, public toilets, and library. The basement area is entirely accessible for wheelchair users, and is reached by a lift in the Sheldonian Yard. An MSc course in History of Science: Instruments, Museums, Science, Technology is taught within the Museum by the curatorial staff.
The Museum is open to the public, from 12 noon to 4.00 pm, Tuesday to Saturday, throughout the year, except for Bank Holidays, and for about a week after Christmas. The library may be used, on application, by students and others engaged in research. It is open regularly to the Museum's own graduate students.
ll information was taken from the Official University of Oxford Site