Posted on November 24, 2018 at 4:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Libraries and restricted access don’t generally go together in most people’s minds nowadays.

But of course, in years past, certain manuscripts weren’t deemed appropriate for general consumption.

In honor (and defiance?) of those long-ago days, Oxford’s Bodleian Library is putting its secretive Phi collection on display, the Guardian reports.

Starting in Victorian times and continuing until recently, the Greek letter phi was used to mark “immoral” books in the collection.

One needed very specific dispensation in order to access the three thousand or so books in the Phi collection, which includes a first-edition copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, signed by D.H. Lawrence himself.

Today, however, you can drop by the university to view an exhibit that follows the history of these books ... without receiving written permission.

Learn more about the risque, restricted books in the Guardian.

Tagged As: Libraries, The Guardian

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