Sir Giles Gilbert Scott was commissioned by the University to produce the New Bodleian Library in a constrained site on Broad Street. He was required to provide additional storage space for books in a building no higher than two stories that would not offend the architectural styles which ranged, confusingly, from mediaeval gothic to Victorian Tudor. Whilst the neo-Jacobean building was not at the time regarded as Scott’s greatest work, it was a technical masterpiece, with eleven underground stories of bookstacks, enough for the most determined of bibliophile. Construction began in 1937 and ended in 1940. The building reopened in 2015 as the Weston library, following a complete rebuilding behind Scott’s façade.
This view, shortly after the completion of the building, is believed to have been published as an illustration, probably by The Illustrated London News. Ives was a commercial perspectivist, based in Norwich who had served in the RNVR during World War II and was well-known for his perspective drawings.