Exclusive architecture image library by Paul Oliver to be launched

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Paul Oliver image

Oxford Brookes University is launching an architectural image library comprising of over 20,000 images of celebrated art historian Professor Paul Oliver MBE.

The University recently paid tribute to Paul in August when he sadly passed away aged 90.

Paul, who taught at various institutions during his career including Oxford Brookes, was an expert in vernacular architecture, producing the monumental Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World (Cambridge University Press), which won the Sir Bannister Fletcher Award for Art and Architecture in 1998.

Oxford Brookes hosts the  Paul Oliver Vernacular Architecture Library collection (POVAL) in the Special Collections section of its main library; a multi-disciplinary collection of printed and visual resources dealing with vernacular architecture worldwide.

The largest of its kind in the world, it provides a unique resource for staff, students and visiting scholars interested in the study of the world’s built environments.

The launch of the Paul Oliver Vernacular Architecture Library images (POVALi) will take place at Oxford Brookes University on Wednesday 18 October between 2.00pm-4.30pm at Headington Campus in the Library. Admission is free.

It is very sad that Paul was not able to see the finished image library, however it is a fitting tribute to him and an important part of his legacy, which also lives on through his publications, his collections and the teaching programmes he helped to establish and contributed to at Oxford Brookes.

Dr Marcel Vellinga, Reader in Anthropology of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University

The new image library (POVALi) features images from around the world taken by Paul between 1960 and 2012.

Dr Marcel Vellinga, Reader in Anthropology of Architecture at Oxford Brookes is a POVAL Trustee and also Editor-in-Chief of the upcoming second edition of Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World. He will be giving a talk at the launch event:

“I am looking forward to launching this new image library at Oxford Brookes.  We intend for it to be a further valuable open access resource for teaching and research purposes.

“I’d been working with Paul on creating this collection for a number of years and student volunteers helped with cataloguing and digitising the 20,000 images. It is very sad that Paul was not able to see the finished image library, however it is a fitting tribute to him and an important part of his legacy, which also lives on through his publications, his collections and the teaching programmes he helped to establish and contributed to at Oxford Brookes.”

To access the POVALi collection visit http://radar.brookes.ac.uk/radar/s/povali. For more information about POVAL visit www.poval.org.uk

Image: Sami camp c. Norway, 2004, © Paul Oliver Vernacular Architecture Library/Oxford Brookes University