The establishment of Parks College creates a unique partnership between an Oxford college and the University’s Gardens, Libraries and Museums (GLAM) by co-locating the college with the Radcliffe Science Library and a new Museums Collections & Teaching Research Centre.
The partnership brings extensive mutual benefits and efficiencies by allowing the sharing and exchange of knowledge, space and resources among all building users – students, staff, fellows, readers and visitors.
- Parks College members will benefit from an on-site library run by specialist subject librarians and a museum collections centre offering access to some of the world’s most significant collections.
- Library readers can enjoy facilities that better meet the needs of 21st-century science in a refurbished building.
- Bodleian and museum staff will be able to work in partnership with researchers and graduate students on areas such as open science, public engagement with research, open access and research data management.
About the RSL-Parks College building project
Overall, the redeveloped RSL building will create an accessible and modern space with high quality facilities, and flexible spaces for quiet study, group meetings, public events, and social occasions. Both library users and College members will benefit from access to cutting-edge technologies and digital resources, as well as specialist expertise to support research, collaboration and public engagement.
The building project to create a home for Parks College involves four main components:
- Refurbishing the main RSL buildings – the Jackson Wing, built in 1901, and Worthington Wing, built in 1934 – to create new reading areas, public engagement spaces, offices, seminar rooms and social areas, some of which will be shared between the Library and College.
- Converting two adjoining buildings (the western wing of the Inorganic Chemistry Lab and Abbot’s Kitchen) and their connecting spaces to provide a dining hall, meeting rooms and social areas for College members.
- Creating a new quad (College garden) in front of the main entrance to provide a tranquil outdoor space for College members.
- Upgrading and converting the two-storey RSL basement to serve as a Museum Collections Teaching & Research Centre, which will have high quality storage facilities for museum collections, as well as a suite of flexible spaces for teaching and public engagement activities.
Completion of the redevelopment of the RSL basement and buildings is scheduled for the start of the 2021-22 academic year. The redevelopment of the western wing of the Inorganic Chemistry Lab, Abbot’s Kitchen and connecting spaces are also planned to be completed as soon as possible.