Stories & Updates

Transforming the Annexe

25th April 2022

The Annexe will be the most noticeable transformation to the Library. It’s here the architects had the most freedom to be creative.

There will be 30% more reader spaces in the newly restored Library, enabling more Exeter students to make use of this wonderful facility. This will help reduce some of the associated stress for students as the Library is often full, especially during exam periods. Ultimately, it will provide an environment that is much more conducive to thinking and learning.

As much as I love the current Library, it’s not much fun to fight for a space at a desk, especially during finals season! There just isn’t enough room for all the students who want to use it. Extending reader space will be a huge improvement and remove a little bit of stress from Oxford’s high-pressure environment.

Emma (Maths, 2019)

The Annexe in its current shape was the result of a somewhat brutal remodelling in the 1950s when the false floor was inserted to divide the space into two separate rooms, with the lower room housing the archives and special collections.

The current state of the Annexe
The current state of the Annexe

During the restoration, the 1950s floor will be removed to reveal the obscured windows, which will bathe the new space in natural light. In its place, a half-width mezzanine will be inserted, which will allow for the increase in workspaces for students.

Architects render of the new Annexe
The new Annexe space will reveal the original Gilbert Scott Gothic windows

New shelving along the walls in the lower half of the Annexe means that the modern bookcases in the main body of the Library, which currently make the space look and feel cluttered, can be removed.

Ella outside the Library

The Library at Exeter is central to our academic experience. As a history student, I spend a lot of hours reading and writing independently and to have a space suitable for this is so important. The prospect of future Exonians having a more modern and larger space is extremely exciting and I look forward to returning to see how this project unfolds.

Ella (2019, History)

You can help transform the Library Annexe by making a gift today.