Nov. 10 2015 news from Bodleian Libraries, UK’s largest academic library with 12 million historic collections.


The Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford today announced the acquisition of the 12 millionth book in its vast and important historic collections: a revolutionary poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley that was first published in 1811 but was considered lost until 2006.

The rediscovery of Shelley’s Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things caused a wave of excitement a decade ago but until now this recently-resurfaced literary gem has only been seen by a handful of scholars and, thus, unavailable to students, scholars and lovers of poetry.

This special acquisition marks the 12 millionth printed book held by the Bodleian Libraries, the UK’s largest academic library service and an international resource for scholars. The purchase makes this rare poem available to scholars, students and the general public for the very first time. The text of the poem has been fully digitized and made freely available online via a dedicated website at

Image of Shelley's Poetical Essay, Bodleian Libraries