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The College Library

The new library, open 9.00 am to midnight during normal term time, is located in the corner of Tommy White Quad and contains the core books you’ll need for your course. You can borrow for two weeks at a time, and renew them in-person or online through the SOLO website as long as nobody else places a ‘hold’ on the book.

Our new library also offers a 24/7 study space, a comfortable seating foyer, a large seminar room, exhibition and display spaces, and enhanced printing facilities. The work should provide accessible study spaces for those using wheelchairs as well as lift access to the historic sections of the library like the Laudian and Old libraries.

Dr Petra Hofmann is the Head Librarian in college and is contactable at

The way we use the college library might be a little different to normal dur to continued pandemic related precautions. More information to come!


SOLO is the online library catalogue – it searches online resources (journal articles, electronic copies of books, etc.) as well as the 12 million books available across Oxford’s many libraries. You can’t use other college libraries without permission, but departmental libraries (e.g. the Radcliffe Science Library, Sackler Library, Taylorian and about 30 others) are there for all students to borrow from or for use as a pleasant space to work. You will have an introduction to SOLO during freshers week but you can have a sneak peak by clicking here!

Your room will have enough equipment and space for you to work there, but don’t only study in your room or even only in college. For example, there are around 100 (yes really!!) libraries and I’ve still only managed to visit a handful of them – Leo, Geography

Bodleian Libraries

In addition to the college and departmental libraries, we have the Bodleian Libraries. Exactly which libraries are part of the Bodleian is a bit confusing, but the name generally refers to the ‘Old Bodleian’ library, together with the Radcliffe Camera and the Weston Library. “The Bod” is England’s second largest library (after the British Library) and has a copy of every published book, although rarely used resources are kept in storage so take a while to be retrieved. Unlike the other libraries, the ‘Old Bodleian’ is a reference library, meaning you can’t borrow items. The “Rad Cam” also contains the History Faculty library, from which you can borrow books. 

In summary, Oxford’s libraries are undoubtedly better than those of any other UK university: if you need a book, you’ll find it. Your Bod Card lets you in everywhere. And if you’re still struggling, the St John’s librarians are very willing to buy new materials (or even just extra copies of key course books) if they will be useful to you and future students – speak to anyone in the library reception – they’re unbelievably fast at getting things in (often less than twenty-four hours).

The full extent of the Bod is best appreciated from their website!