The Library at New College was established in the late fourteenth century.
The Library seeks to be at the centre of New College’s academic life: all New College students and staff are warmly encouraged to use the Library and make the most of the collections and services we provide. Entry is by swipe card during opening hours.
The present-day New College Library, designed by Sir Hubert Worthington (1886-1963), was completed in 1939. Its marble entrance foyer commemorates with its fine inscription that the Library building was erected as a memorial to those who fell in the First World War. The balcony outside the entrance to the Library bears a flagstone large bronze plaque, “The Seven Virtues” of 2007 by Rod Kelly (b. 1956), celebrating twenty-five years of women students at New College.
The Library is constructed over two floors. It is situated adjacent to the College’s early fifteenth-century Bell Tower, which was innovatively refurbished in 1996 to contain a state-of-the-art, humidity- and temperature-controlled, three-storey strongroom bookstack to house part of the Library’s collections.
Today, the Library’s total physical stock of modern and antiquarian collections numbers approximately 100,000 volumes, and the Library houses almost all its modern material on open access shelves. Texts and other materials are constantly acquired to support all the undergraduate courses taught in the university, and they provide support for taught postgraduate courses too, which makes the College Library the obvious first port-of-call for New College students.
We welcome and invite book purchase requests from current New College students and academics. Co-operation between the Library, tutors, and students is actively pursued, and the Library is a point of display for larger items from the JCR art collection, as well as administering the JCR DVD collection.
External visitors should make an appointment with the Librarian:
Dr Christopher Skelton-Foord
University of Oxford
Term: 8.30 am to 2.00 am (every day)
Vacations: 8.30 am to 8.30 pm (every day)
N.B. The Library will be closed during the College Christmas closed period.
Almost all items from the Library’s modern collections may be borrowed; a small number are for reference-only use. The loan period for books is two weeks for New College undergraduates and the whole term for New College postgraduates. CDs and DVDs may be borrowed for three days.
Generous borrowing privileges enable students to have thirty-five items out on loan at any one time, and a book can be renewed as many times as required so long as it has not been reserved by another reader. Fines of five pence per item per day are charged for overdue books, and replacement costs plus administrative fees will be charged for any items that are lost or defaced.
The issue system is computerised through SOLO, our online catalogue, where you can search records for our entire bookstock. Students can reserve and renew books online and they will be informed of reserved books ready for collection and overdue books by email. Students with queries about loans, renewals, or fines are invited to contact the Deputy Librarian.
The design of the Library offers different styles of working area and the outlook has the benefit of the medieval city wall, lawns, and gardens.
On the upper floor, there are a number of tables for four people across a large area, bookshelves holding most subjects, as well as two small rooms with desks for four people that house the History collection. There is also a height-adjustable standing desk and an adustable, folding laptop stand available.
On the lower floor, there are separate Law and Classics reading rooms with plenty of seats for students of other disciplines, our new Group Study Room which holds our General Interest Collection, the open bookstacks housing lesser-used materials, and individual seats in between these stacks, which act as study areas.
Our Library Guide (in pdf to enable easy printing out) provides a plan of our upper and lower floors and a brief guide to the classification system we use to arrange books on the shelves by subject.
The Library provides wireless connection and desks with power sockets for readers' laptops, as well as photocopying, scanning, and printing facilities.
The University of Oxford’s extensive collection of electronic resources complements its libraries’ physical collections, and these e-resources are available to New College students and staff. SOLO searches can be constructed to locate and access e-books, e-journals, and databases. There is detailed guidance available on how to locate e-journals; databases can be located and browsed according to subject as well. SOLO can also search ORA (Oxford University Research Archive), which also has its own dedicated portal.
OxLIP+ (Oxford Libraries Information Platform) is the University’s portal providing access to its databases, electronic reference works, e-journals and e-book packages.
Help and Assistance
Library staff are very pleased to facilitate the learning, teaching, and research of the College and we aim to provide a range of reader services in a professional and friendly way. The Library Office is staffed from 8.30 am till 5.00 pm, Mondays to Fridays. We are happy to help with any research needs you may have.
We are here to help you locate items from our physical collections and will fetch items for you from our closed stacks. We can assist you in accessing and navigating suitable e-resources you may require and we can also advise you of other library collections within the University of Oxford that may be of use to you.
Please ask us for assistance at any time. Alternatively, you may email us with any queries you may have. We also welcome suggestions about how we may improve the services we offer you.
Help for Freshers
Library Assistant is the online guide to library services especially tailored to Oxford Freshers. More experienced library users may also find it of help.
Adapted to work on smartphones and tablets, so that it is accessible anytime anywhere, Library Assistant can help you:
find libraries around Oxford
locate books on your reading lists
obtain information about library WiFi, passwords, and photocopying
with much more besides