Univ’s Libraries support undergraduate and graduate study with around 60,000 books as well as access to the University’s e-resources. The Libraries, with 24-hour opening during term, offer a fast book request service, generous book allowances and loan periods, and professional staff on hand to help. As well as providing a quiet and disciplined study space, there are two group workrooms available for drop-in sessions or by making a booking.
About the Libraries
The Old Library, situated in a Victorian building next to the Hall, houses Modern Languages, Philosophy, English, Classics, History and the hard sciences (Maths, Computation, Physics, Engineering, Earth Science, and the Biomedical Sciences). The New Library, which opened in October 2016 on Merton Street, contains Law, Politics, Economics, Music, and collections about Oxford, College, and books by and about Old Members.
The Library has a generous budget for text books, but also provides a collection of books on study skills, writing essays, and staying healthy. In addition, students can make use a range of “extras” such as book-stands, whiteboards, cushions, earplugs, and vases for carnations during exams. We also have subject-specific items like Obadiah, our life-size skeleton, a model brain, molecular models, and a collection of Shakespeare DVDs.
Students can keep up to date with what’s happening in our Libraries via regular social media posts on Twitter. The Librarians and Archivist promote Univ’s historic collections through various classes, exhibitions, and the regular “Treasures” feature on our News and Features page.
Visiting the Libraries
The Library is open to current members 24 hours a day for most of the year. Old Members are welcome to visit the Library with small groups of their friends and family during normal working hours. Visitors who are not current or Old Members of Univ are requested to make an appointment via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Appointments are available from 9.00 am on weekdays, with some restrictions at busy times of the year.
Search for a Book
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: Phil Burnett
After completing his schooling in Cape Town, Phil went to Rhodes University where he completed a BA in Law and German, followed by an Honours degree in Music, and then a P.G.C.E. A stint teaching school music was followed by an MA in Musicology at Bristol. Finding that he was spending a lot of time in libraries he took up employment in the Wills Memorial Library at the University of Bristol. Phil has been in the Univ. Library since 2016, but also worked for several years, in the Bodleian Music Faculty Library. He is now only at Univ. as Assistant Librarian, a post he took up in May 2019. As a PhD candidate in Musicology and History at the University of Bristol he spends an awful lot of time in libraries, but also sings in several choirs around Oxford, plays cricket for the Bodleian C.C., and flits around on a bicycle.
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.