The Old Library, the New Library and Group Study rooms in 10 Merton Street are open 24/7 during term time. The Libraries are staffed Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5.00pm (4.00pm on Fridays). The Library staff are available to answer your queries during these hours, either in person or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You are very welcome to pop into the Library offices to chat with the Library Team – it is not necessary to make an appointment.
Please familiarise yourself with the Library rules which can be found on the noticeboards outside the libraries and on the intranet. Please note, no food may be brought into the Libraries or Group Study Rooms, and only bottled water or hot drinks in sealed, re-usable containers (for example, KeepCups) are permitted. This policy exists to prevent pests and to limit damage to books and furniture. If you have any queries, do not hesitate to contact the Library Team.
The Old Library was completed in 1861 and is situated next to the Hall. It houses collections for English, Classics, Modern and Ancient History, Theology, and Art on the first floor, and Modern Languages, Philosophy, Maths, Computation, Physics, Engineering, Earth Sciences and Biomedical Sciences on the ground floor. On the ground floor you can also find our Welfare Collection: these are books on study skills, writing essays, mental health conditions, and staying healthy.
The New Library, in 10 Merton Street, houses Sociology, Politics, International Relations, Law, Economics, and Music. In addition, there is our collection of books about Oxford, the College, and books written by or about Old Members, and the Women’s Bookshelf (containing a wide and growing selection of material about women and gender studies).
About the Univ Libraries
Univ Library supports undergraduate and graduate study with our collection of around 60,000 books. To support students’ research, the Library offers a fast book purchase request service, generous book allowances and loan periods, and professional staff on hand to help. The Library Team is keen to provide any additional assistance and support to students who may require this due to disability or illness.
Students can make use of a range of “Library Extras” such as book-stands, whiteboards, colour page overlays, magnifying sheets, earplugs, laptop and phone chargers, foot-rests, cushions and blankets. We welcome suggestions for other Extras that would assist you in your studies.
We also have subject-specific items like Obadiah, our life-size skeleton, a model brain, molecular models, an ophthalmoscope, classical language dictionaries, and a collection of Shakespeare DVDs. To borrow any of these items please drop into the Old Library office, or email email@example.com
UNILANG (United Nations’ International Languages Aware New Graduates) is a collection of language learning resources provided by the Library. It is aimed at assisting with the development of language skills and covers five of the UN’s six official spoken languages of French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese (the sixth language being English). Resources for Italian and Turkish are also available. These resources are available from the Library offices.
The Library Team and Archivist promote Univ’s historic collections through various classes, exhibitions, and the regular “Treasures” feature on our News and Features page. To learn more about our historic and special collections, see our Library Special Collections page.
Search for a Book at Univ
Please note that Univ’s modern collections are not listed on Search Oxford Libraries Online (SOLO). Only Univ’s historic collections appear on SOLO.
Search for Univ’s Library resources on UnivCat. You do not need to be in College to search the catalogue — you can access UnivCat from any web-enabled device.
To find a book in the Library, go to one of the Library Catalogue PCs (or open UnivCat on your own device). In the search bar, enter a few key words from the title and the author’s surname. The search results will tell you if the book, or something similar, is available and where to find it.
Each book’s catalogue record on UnivCat will indicate which Library or Study Room the book is located in, e.g. Old Library, 10 Merton Street New Library, 10 Merton Street Study Room 1. The UnivCat record also includes a Class, e.g. “AMA/CHA”, which indicates where the book is shelved — the first letter/s represent the subject, while the first part of the author’s surname makes up the last three letters. The Class is labelled onto the spine of every book, so you just have to follow the alphabetical shelving sequence until you find the book you require. Maps are displayed to help you locate subject areas within the reading rooms. If you cannot find a book, or need any help searching, call in at one of the offices during staffed hours or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Desk Space and Group Study Rooms
Desks are available on a first-come-first-served basis, but please let us know if you have any special requirements or access needs.
There are 40 desks available in the main reading room of the New Library and 56 desks across the two floors of the Old Library. The main reading rooms are for quiet, private study — please take any conversations outside of the buildings and set your phone to silent so as not to disturb your fellow students.
In the three Group Study Rooms (GSRs) there are 18 desk spaces. These rooms are for less formal, group study. Discussion —kept to a reasonable volume— is welcome. The GSRs are available on a first-come-first-served basis, or you can book one in advance by emailing email@example.com. Booking is normally limited to 3 sessions of up to 3 hours each week, and students with study support plans will be given priority.
Using Other Libraries in Oxford
All Univ students and academics have access to the Bodleian Libraries, which have a huge wealth of books (many of which you can borrow) as well as online resources. SOLO is the main tool for searching the Bodleian’s collections. In addition to helping you find physical resources available in the Bodleian Libraries, on SOLO you can find journal articles, databases, scholarly reviews, theses, and much more.
For information on the various study spaces that are available in the Bodleian Libraries, go to bodleian.ox.ac.uk. The Getting Started webpage will help guide you through the Bodleian Libraries and their many resources. When searching for resources specific to your field of study, consult the LibGuide for your subject, as this will tell you what’s available and how to get hold of it. If you wish to see an overview of the Bodleian’s online resources, this LibGuide lists all of the databases that Bodleian Libraries subscribe to.
Library and Archive Staff
College Librarian: Elizabeth Adams
Following a number of gap years, Elizabeth studied Library and Information Science at Curtin University and Latin at the University of Western Australia. A voluntary position cataloguing pre-1800 books at the New Norcia Benedictine Community led to several years working on antiquarian projects based in the Bodleian Library. Having worked briefly at Univ in 2002 as part of the Early Printed Books Project, Elizabeth was pleased to return to take up the Assistant Librarian post during the long vacation of 2009, followed by that of Librarian in September 2011. Outside the Library Elizabeth spends time promoting and practising the inky craft of letterpress printing through her private press, Juxon Press, and as a committee member of the Oxford Guild of Printers.
Assistant Librarian: Liz Fleetwood
(Monday morning, Thursday and Friday)
After finishing her undergraduate degree in Film at King’s College London, Liz started her library career through an eight-week work placement in Somerset’s public library service. After a series of fortunate events, eight weeks became two years, before she moved to Oxford in 2019 to take up a post at New College. While serving as the Special Collections Curatorial Assistant at New, and in another episode of being in the right place at the right time, Liz had the opportunity to act as Deputy Librarian for two months. She joined Univ in April 2022, and has a special interest in supporting students with information literacy and research support across many subjects. As well as Univ library, Liz works in the Bodleian Old Library and Radcliffe Camera, and is happy to help Univ members navigate the Bodleian Libraries system.
Library Assistant (Maternity Cover): Thomas Connolley
(Monday-Friday, mornings only)
Thomas has a degree in Materials Science and a PhD. In Materials Engineering. He’s had varied career in science, culminating in 16 years at the Diamond Light Source Synchrotron at the Harwell Campus here in Oxfordshire. Thomas has a life-long interest in books and libraries and is re-training in Librarianship. He is also a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Ambassador, currently working with Wantage Public Library on their Code Club.
Library Assistant: Nicola Bell
(Monday-Friday, mornings only)
After completing a degree in English at Goldsmiths, London, Nicola went on to pursue a career in libraries, completing a graduate traineeship then studying for a Masters at UCL. Then followed a few years in California, working and volunteering at academic and public libraries in Palo Alto before returning to the UK and a post at the UCL School of Pharmacy. She moved to Oxford in 2018 and after working in Reader Services at the Bodleian Old Library, Nicola started her post as Library Assistant at Univ in September 2022.
College Archivist: Dr. Robin Darwall-Smith
Robin read Classics at Univ as both an undergraduate and a postgraduate, and then trained as an Archivist at the University of Liverpool. He then returned to Oxford, first of all to catalogue the papers of Benjamin Jowett at Balliol and then to work at the Oxfordshire Record Office. Robin has been Archivist of Univ since 1993, but from 1996-2016 he was also Archivist of Magdalen College. He is now Archivist both of Univ and of Jesus College, and divides his time between those two Colleges. He is normally at Univ on Mondays and Tuesdays (01865 276952). Robin’s publications include A History of University College, Oxford, published by OUP in 2008, and The Early Records of University College, Oxford, published in 2016.