Academician Nargiz Pashayeva attends solemn reception in honor of Bodleian Library’s founder

Baku, March 19, AZERTAC

At the invitation of Head of the Bodleian Library at Oxford University Richard Ovenden, Rector of the Baku branch of Moscow State University, academician Nargiz Pashayeva has attended the 31st Founder’s Luncheon for the university's highest academic staff and honored guests in honour of the founder of the Bodleian Library Sir Thomas Bodley. (

This traditionally important event, dedicated to the memory, and philanthropic activities of Sir Thomas Bodley, annually brings together world-renowned scholars, public figures members of the British Parliament, major academic partners, senior management and the administration of Oxford University.

On October 11, 2018, Rector of the Baku branch of Moscow State University, ANAS vice-president, academician Nargiz Pashayeva was admitted as a permanent member of the University of Oxford Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors (CCB), which is headed by Lord Patten Barnes. Professor Nargiz Pashayeva became the first academic representative of Azerbaijan, accepted into the Court of Benefactors, which includes well-known scientists, public figures and influential organizations that have special services to Oxford University. Lord Patten Barnes described Nargiz Pashayeva as a close friend and influential academic partner of Oxford University.

Head of the Bodleian Library Richard Ovenden (Richard Ovenden, welcomed this year’s influential guests, nearly 80 people attending the ceremonial reception, at the Blackwell Hall of the Weston Library (Weston Library,, the main research library of Oxford. An expert discussion on the topic 'Unacknowledged legislators: literature and society,' moderated by British writer, journalist and critic (editor of The Times from 1992 to 2002, editor of The Times Literary Supplement from 2002 to 2016) Sir Peter Stothard (Sir Peter Stothard, then was held at the small conference hall. Other hosts of the discussion were Nigerian novelist, short-story writer, and poet, Booker Prize Laureate, holder of Order of the British Empire, member of the Royal Society of Literature Ben Okri (Ben Okri,, and British writer and historian, professor, Honorary Fellow of the British Academy, holder of the Order of the British Empire, member and first female president of Royal Society of Literature since 2017 Dame Marina Sarah Warner (Dame Marina Sarah Warner,

The event included a Luncheon at the Divinity School, which is one of the first parts of the Bodleian Library dating back to the 15th century. (Divinity School,

Addressing the official reception, Head of the Bodleian Library Richard Ovenden highlighted the activities of the Nizami Ganjavi Scientific Centre for the Study of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus at the University of Oxford.

The idea for the Nizami Ganjavi Programme for the study of ancient languages and cultures of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus was born in 2013 when Professor Robert Hoyland came to Azerbaijan to visit archaeological sites and was invited to meet Professor Nargiz Pashayeva, rector of the Baku branch of Moscow State University. ( Their shared interest in education and research resulted in a joint decision to work towards the establishment of a Centre in Oxford that could provide resources for students and scholars from all over the world to come together to investigate and discuss the pre-modern history and culture of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus.

On May 23, 2018 a historic moment ocurred in scientific, cultural and humanitarian fields between Great Britain and Azerbaijan. At the Clarendon Building the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, the Academy of Social Sciences in the United Kingdom, an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Professor Louise Richardson, and Head of the Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Centre on behalf of Azerbaijan, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the British Foundation for the Study of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus (BFSAC), Rector of the Baku Branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Professor Nargiz Pashayeva signed the contract under which, the Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Centre for the Study of Azerbaijan, the Caucasus and Central Asia will be permanently functioning at the University of Oxford as its integral part. The contract signed at the University of Oxford was titled the ‘Contract of the Century’ as a landmark cultural, historical and humanitarian event in the true sense of the word. This event strengthens the belief that Azerbaijan`s scientific thought and historical legacy will make an outstanding contribution to the global scientific integration and open up new horizons and opportunities in future.

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