Beetles attack historic library

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The Independent Online
A historic university library is being forced to close after being plagued by an infestation of deathwatch beetles.

The magnificent Duke Humfrey's Library in Oxford will be shut for almost a year while the destructive beetles are killed off.

Researchers from all over the world travel to visit the Duke Humfrey's library, which is one of the oldest in the country, and forms part of Oxford's Bodleian Library. The massive collection of 16th and 17th century books will be rehoused within the university while the work is carried out.

The beetle, which has infested the roof and rafters of the 15th century library, will be chemically treated. The secretary of the Bodleian Library, Steve Waterman, said: "If the deathwatch beetle was left eventually it would make the building unsafe."

The library, which was completed in 1488, was founded by Humfrey Duke of Gloucester.

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