Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

The Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford are celebrated worldwide not only for their incomparable collections of books and manuscripts but also for their beautiful historic buildings.

Across generations, many have walked the halls and browsed the shelves of the Bodleian Libraries. Together, this collection of buildings, including the Radcliffe Camera and Weston Building, all serve as the central library for the University of Oxford.

Infinite rows of leather bound books, intimidating doors, sweeping arches and ornate ceilings all decorate the various interiors, symbolising the history that these libraries have had. So much so, the reading rooms of the Duke Humfrey’s Library are even used as ideal film sets for movies, such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

So pretty is the architecture in Oxford, it should not be a surprise that the Bodleian is visited by many throughout the year. Tours, exhibitions and cafés are all available, and of course, there’s also two gift shops, providing a variety of literary-themed gifts and stationery.

The shop commissioned The City Works to create a unique illustration that combined many of the key buildings, which would then go on to inform a stationery collection.

The project marks the first time we have incorporated interiors into our designs. We sampled patterns from the stunning ceilings, and created a ‘sky’ above the intricate facades and brickwork. This intricate, floral pattern made for a nice contrast against the vertical windows and columns of the Tower of the Five Orders.

The end result is a customised stationery range consisting of Greetings Cards, Debossed Notebooks and A5 Bodleian Journals. The cards have all been printed in England, with the Oxford Blue version printed in our signature white ink, with a white insert for your message.

Available in Oxford Blue, Mint Green and Yellow, the collection is made using papers that match the identifiable colours of Oxford Universities.

To work for such a prestigious name as the Bodleian Libraries was a privilege, and didn’t feel like work at all. Fit for passers by or focused students, we’re excited for our designs to grace the hands of the many visitors of the Oxford University over the years to come.


You can purchase everything from the range inside the Bodleian Shops, Oxford, or from their online store

More of our commissions

MAK Design Shop

MAK Design Shop by The City Works

Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall by The City Works 2

Highline Building

Elephant and Castle Hampton Street Mural Highline Building, by The City Works for University of the Arts London 3
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