I’m working in the Lower Reading Room of the Bodleian Library this afternoon, and because it’s the start of term, parties of new students pass through the reading room from time to time, being shown round the library, and told how it works, and so on. (Most of them will probably never return, but it’s their loss.) I suppose that somewhere along the way they will get to affirm the famous Bodleian Declaration. And it’s an old joke, but I think it’s a good one, to think that anyone might be deterred from burning down the library by reflecting that they’ll be committing perjury as well as arson.

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