On Friday 20 October 2017, the Library and Academic Centre was officially opened, and named the Tim Gardam Building, by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Professor Louise Richardson.
The new Library complements our original Grade II listed library in Hartland House designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the façade of which has now been revealed to Woodstock Road. Designed by Fletcher Priest Architects plans for the new Library were inspired by Oxford’s historic buildings, and it has been designed to last for centuries. St Anne’s has one of the largest College libraries and the new building almost doubles the number of reader spaces available, provides group study spaces and an area designed to be used for schools outreach visits, and adds vital space for St Anne’s growing collection. It also provides working space for St Anne’s Research Centres in the arts and sciences, including the Centre for Personalised Medicine and Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation.
This building is named for Tim Gardam, Principal 2004 to 2016 as it is the result of his vision for a Library and Academic Centre that would complete the public face of St Anne’s College and express its character. Within the building, we have recognised our donors, those leaving a legacy to the College and our history through the naming of the spaces.
This includes the ground floor Library workroom, which has been named after June Knowles, the youngest RAF serving officer in the Middle East during WW2 who was later selected to do Special Cyphers, handling top secret ‘Ultra’ military intelligence from Bletchley Park. She came to St Anne’s to read PPE in 1946.
The Group Study Room overlooking the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter has been named after Merze Tate in recognition of her achievements. She was a member of the Society for Home Students (now St Anne’s College) and became the first African American to take a graduate degree at Oxford University going on to lead a distinguished academic career. Professor Bryan Stephenson, an American lawyer, social justice activist, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and a clinical professor at New York University School of Law revealed her portrait in the room in June 2017.
The Tim Gardam Building was only possible thanks to the support of so many of our alumnae and friends. St Anne’s is proud of its part in the career of so many distinguished and pioneering women; we are delighted that the building has provided an opportunity for us to recognise them and our role in the history of women’s education at Oxford.
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