198R. Harrod to Henry Miers, 20 January 1931 [a]

Follows on from 197 R. Harrod reports on the progress in drafting, and summarizes the points of dissent: accessibility (access to shelves and research rooms) and concentration (attachment of Rhodes and Taylor wings to the building), and the hostility to the choice of 100,000 best books in the reading room. Nonetheless, Harrod shall agree with the majority in recommending the erection of a building in Broad Street

  1. 1. The exchange with Miers continued, regarding the drafting of Harrod's "Separate Report" ( 1931:1 ). On 21 January, Miers granted permission to include a shortened version of Harrod's memorandum on "Intake" (in HP VI-74; for a description of this memorandum see note 1 to letter 183 R). On 31 January he asked Harrod to add as little detail as possible (HP VI-7), but Harrod insisted that including the architect's plans was important in order to prove that the objections to the majority's report were well founded (letter to Miers, 2 February 1931, in HP VI-79). Sisam, the group's secretary, agreed with Miers that overdetailed plans only attract criticism without being very helpful (letter to Harrod, 2 February 1931, in HP VI-78). In a diary note dated 3 February, however, Harrod registered that at a meeting with the architect, Miers agreed to print ground and first floor in the Report (HP VI-80/1). Further negotiations are recorded in exchanges with Arthur Stanley George Butler (1888-1965, the architect who drew the plans for the new Bodleian building both for the majority and the minority reports), Miers and Sisam (Sisam to Harrod, 23 and 27 January, 2, 6 and 10 February 1931, in HP VI-85-86/17, HP VI-9/27, HP VI-9/28, VI-85-86/20 and HP VI-85-86/2 respectively; Miers to Harrod, 29 and 30 January 1931, in HP VI-75 and HP VI-76; Butler to Harrod, 29 January, 4 and 20 February, in HP VI-85-86/18, HP VI-91/12 and HP VI-85-86/26).

    On 7 February, Harrod wrote that he had "endeavoured throughout to write [the minority report] in a constructive and not destructive spirit" (letter to Miers, in HP VI-80/2). Miers acknowledged receipt of Harrod's minority report on 9 February, and expressed the feeling that it was longer than necessary (in HP VI-82). On 11 February Harrod wrote to Miers that he was sorry for the length of his report, but maintained that all what remained was essential to the argument (in HP VI-81).

    More meetings were held, and minutes and documents were sent to the members of the Bodleian Library Commission (Sisam to the Commissioners, 11, 13, 17 and again 17 February, 9 and 11 March, 15 April 1931, in HP VI-85-86/22, HP VI-85-86/23, HP VI-85-86/24, HP VI-85-86/25, HP VI-91/17, HP VI-85-86/27 and HP VI-91/19). Veale, the University registrar, thanked the Commissioners for their reports on 10 March 1931, and expressed the gratefulness of the curators of the Bodleian on 29 April (HP VI-16 and HP VI-23).

    The correspondence on the Bodleian question was resumed after the publication of the Commission's Report in March 1931, concerning the decision to be taken by the Congregation: see letter 203 R.

    1. a. From Christ Church, Oxford # , two pages ALS, in HP VI-73 (presumably a copy).


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