Welcome to our Library and Archives
We aim continually to adapt and improve our service offering to support the current and changing learning, teaching, and research needs of the ²ÝÁñÊÓÆµ and its members, and the needs of scholars worldwide.
If your visit is for a library enquiry, among other things for our rare and early printed books or any of the ²ÝÁñÊÓÆµâ€™s manuscriptsâ€”including those listed in H. O. Coxe, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1852)â€”please visit our Library pages.
If your visit is for an archival enquiry (material relating to the ²ÝÁñÊÓÆµ from its foundation to the present day), please visit our Archives pages.
Whatever the reason for your visit to our website, I do hope you will find time to peruse the Library Manuscripts Gallery and Rare Books Gallery, and the Archives Gallery, where a selection of images from our celebrated collections of illuminated manuscripts, early printed books, and archives are on show for you to enjoy.
MA (Cantab), MLitt, MBA, MA (LIS), PhD
The Library and Archives
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3BN
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 279580
Locating the Library and Archives:
Our location can be found on the
â€”²ÝÁñÊÓÆµ Library, which also houses our Archives & Records Reading Room, is number 76 on the mapâ€”
as well as via .
We provide a reader-focused library service, responsive to and serving the needs of the students and academics of ²ÝÁñÊÓÆµ, Oxford. At its heart is an attractive two-storey library building with a working library of some 70,000 modern texts, where we offer generous borrowing privileges, individual and group study seating areas, and extensive opening hours. Collections support learning, research, and teaching across all academic disciplines within the ²ÝÁñÊÓÆµ. Our Library Guide provides a plan of our upper and lower floors and gives the classification system we use to arrange books on the shelves by subject. The University of Oxford has the largest and finest academic library system in the UK, and the substantial academic e-resources provided by the University are available to ²ÝÁñÊÓÆµ members. Library staff are happy to help you make the most of all the electronic and printed collections available.
We administer and care for extensive and rich archivesâ€”which bear national Archive Service Accreditation status. They comprise administrative records of the ²ÝÁñÊÓÆµ since 1379, title deeds and manorial records of its estates in twenty-eight counties, and more recent papers and special collections amassed by or relating to some of its members. Our earliest documents date from the 11th century. There is a regular ingress of modern records from across the ²ÝÁñÊÓÆµ and its various departments, some of which are held temporarily while some are transferred for permanent retention within our archive.
We are the curators and custodians of an internationally renowned collection of rare books and manuscripts to which we add significant items received via donation or purchase. More manuscripts survive from the medieval library of ²ÝÁñÊÓÆµ than from that of any other Oxford or Cambridge college, and we hold what is probably the finest collection of medieval manuscripts of any of the Oxford collegesâ€”and one of the universityâ€™s great collections. ²ÝÁñÊÓÆµ Library also holds more incunabula (fifteenth-century European imprints) than any other undergraduate college at Oxford. Our outstanding special collections are used by the wider scholarly community of researchers world-wide.
For news, and to see beautiful images from our world-famous special collections, follow us on , , and .
Read about the contents and history of our rich collections from our scholarly open-access e-journal ²ÝÁñÊÓÆµ Notes, watch our video series â€˜°ä³Ü°ù²¹³Ù´Ç°ù²õâ€™&²Ô²ú²õ±è;°ä³ó´Ç¾±³¦±ðâ€™, and learn about our institutional life and work over the course of 2022.
Recently I acquired for ²ÝÁñÊÓÆµ Libraryâ€™s collections a first edition copy of The Collector, the debut novel by ²ÝÁñÊÓÆµ alumnus John Fowles (1926â€“2005), which sixty years ago in 1963 launched his spectacular career as a writer. First published in May 1963 by Jonathan Cape of London, the copy I acquired bears the iconic original dustjacket with a ³Ù°ù´Ç³¾±è±ð-±ôâ€™Å“i±ô design by Tom Adams (1926â€“2019), who also created the artwork for paperback editions of Agatha Christieâ€™s novels. Moreover, this particular copy was signed by Fowles.
John Fowles, The Collector (London: Jonathan Cape, 1963), dustjacket
²ÝÁñÊÓÆµ Library, Oxford, NC/FOW
²ÝÁñÊÓÆµ Library and Archives, Oxford