Shelley's poetical essay

The Bodleian Libraries' 12 millionth book

12 million books

On 10 November 2015, members of the University and wider community gathered to mark the acquisition of the Bodleian Libraries’ 12 millionth printed item, a previously unseen copy of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things (1811).

Joined by Vanessa Redgrave, CBE, and Simon Armitage, CBE and Professor of Poetry, the Libraries celebrated not only this important literary text but also more than 400 years of contributions to the world of learning.

The Bodleian Libraries are extremely grateful to Mr Brian Fenwick-Smith and Mr Antonio Bonchristiano for their generous support of this project.

Shelley’s Poetical Essay is available to the public in digital form (including as a text-encoded XML file).

Selected press