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The Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford has just undergone a $122 million renovation and is christening its new gallery with an exciting exhibition of the library's most precious holdings. Treasures of the Bodleian is an especially interesting exhibit because of its interactive nature.  Curator Stephen Hebron asked each staff member of the library to choose their favorite, 'unmissable' item from the vast collection, and then he whittled the list down to 75 pieces.  Visitors to the exhibit are invited to suggest which pieces deserve to be given permanent display in the new gallery. A few treasures in the exhibit:

  • Magna Carta
  • Gutenberg Bible in pristine condition
  • Jane Austen's handwritten compendium of her own earliest writings
  • Mary Shelley's draft of Frankenstein with suggestions scribbled in by Shelley
  • The Codex Mendoza
  • The earliest almost complete copy of a poem by Sappho, from a cache of documents found in a rubbish dump in Egypt in the 19th century
  • Three charred scrolls from a library in Herculaneum buried by the eruption of Vesuvius
  • Shakespeare's First Folio

Treasures of the Bodleian will be on display from September 30-December 23, 2011.  

Bodleian Library shows off treasures, from Magna Carta to Shakespeare