TWO of Britain’s most august libraries have gone to war – over who has the best Christmas tree.
The Bodleian Library, Oxford, proudly unveiled its tree on December 4 only for it to be described as a “stunted twig” by the National Library of Scotland.
The good-natured row culminated in a Twitter poll to let the nation decide between understated Oxford and Scottish bling – with victory narrowly going north of the border.
The spat started when the Bodleian tweeted: “Our Christmas tree is having a good time out there in the Old Schools Quad today, soaking up some rays and enjoying the unseasonably bright blue sky.”
The National Library of Scotland, based in Edinburgh, decided to troll their English rivals.
They posted a picture of their own, much more flamboyant, tree with the caption: “So… our Christmas tree vsthe Bodleian Libraries one. Theirs has a fancy courtyard but we have shinier baubles. Whose is best? Vote below.”
The Bodleian appealed for help with the vote, writing: “Dear followers, if we win this poll, we’ll share something really cool from our archives. Promise.”
The National Library of Scotland responded: “Desperate.”
As the vote got underway, the trolling continued with the Oxford library boasting about its: “Location, location, location.”
The Scots replied: “We have hills. Real hills. And mountains and tartan.”
The National Library of Scotland also asked: “Will you choose the National Library’s very shiny Christmas tree or The Bodleian’s stunted twig (er, we mean handsome, refined and graceful fir).”
Eventually, the heavily-baubled Edinburgh tree beat Oxford’s more austere effort by taking 53% of the 1,274 votes cast.
The National Library of Scotland celebrated by tweeting a photograph of a very bright shirt worn by one of their staff. The Bodelian remained understated and enigmatic by tweeting a shiny enameled book binding.
@sarahthustra1 responded: “I love that the NLS is having a tree-off with the Bodleian. They get votes just for sass.”
@BtfdLibrary commented on the poll: “I don’t see an All of the Above option? Where’s your Christmas spirit?”
The National Library of Scotland replied to the BRantford Library: “We’re competitors. Christmas Spirit is for wimps.”
@mccrory_clare added: “Sorry guys, I like the Bodleian’s better.”
The Bodleian Library was established in 1602, and is part of Oxford University. The building itself dates from 1320 and was the university’s first ever purpose built library.
The National Library of Scotland was established in 1925.
The libraries are two of only six in the UK and Ireland which have “legal deposit” status, meaning publishers are required to send them copies of every book they print.