Radcliffe Camera

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Radcliffe Camera ( 480x640 )
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Radcliffe Camera (known also as Rad Cam) stands on the Radcliff Square that forms the heart of the whole Oxford University. The term camera comes from Latin and it means room or chamber.

The building is a masterpiece by James Gibbs, built between 1737 and 1749 in English Baroque style. It was financed by Dr John Radcliffe, distinguish royal physician, who died in 1714 but left £40,000 to the construction of the building. Nicholas Hawksmoor, the first architect who died in 1736, suggested making the building round. Around the whole building there are paired gigantic Corinthian three-quarter columns that separate wider and narrower bays. John Summerson pointed out that many of the exterior elements are of Mannerist style.

The Radcliffe Camera was built to house a library devoted to the sciences but now is a private reading room for the Bodleian Library containing books from the English, History and Theology, mostly secondary sources found on undergraduate reading lists. The books are stored beneath the Radcliffe Square and there are around 600,000 of them.
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