IMAGES of how an Oxford University college's library will look once a renovation project is complete have been revealed, including an new elevator tucked away behind a book case.

Exeter College has been given planning permission to refurbish its Victorian library, once frequented by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien.

The works will include extensions to the building's annexe and a new mezzanine floor within the grade-II listed building's annexe.

ALSO READ: Covid cases up by 133 across Oxfordshire over the weekend

There are also plans to install new elevator inside the annexe to give wheelchair users and others access to the new upper floor and the books stored above.

Images from architects firm Nex, which designed the plans, show a minimal and modern upgrade to the mezzanine floor within the library, and an elevator fitted into the corner of the room to the side of a book case.

The head of Exeter College, Professor Sir Rick Trainor said: "The library is a tremendously popular building at the heart of college life. It is essential that we preserve the historic fabric of the library inside and out, while making it fit for use in the 21st century and beyond.

"Exeter College’s library has been a place of inspiration to so many of our students past and present, including Sir Philip Pullman and JRR Tolkien. Our vision is to provide a study space tailored for modern students and academics, while maintaining the library’s inspirational atmosphere and exceptional beauty for generations to come."

Exeter College’s library was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in a Victorian Gothic style and opened in 1857.

ALSO READ: Map of Oxfordshire defibrillators after Christian Eriksen collapse

It is considered one of the most distinctive buildings at Exeter, which is the fourth-oldest constituent college of the university, celebrating its 700th birthday in 2014.

The plans in full include a 'fully accessible library', with step-free access from the college gardens, an elevator, and a WC suitable for all, more space for readers, environmentally friendly ventilation and lighting, as well as conservation and restoration of the original Victorian bookcases, labels, windows and flooring.

There will also be display cases for rare books, manuscripts and other treasured objects.

Tolkien was a student at Exter, and it is said he came across a book on Finnish grammar that sparked his interest in northern European languages, cultures and mythology, helping to inspire his Middle-earth stories, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Work on the library will begin in June 2022, with the library scheduled to reopen in October 2023.

During that period approximately 5,000 books will be housed at Cohen Quad, Exeter College’s newest premises, on Walton Street.

The library’s remaining books, those that are used less often, will be stored at a facility shared with the Bodleian Library.

The plans for the refurbishment were approved by Oxford City Council in April, and special permission to work on the listed building was also granted.