Our Library needs your help


New College Library, Oxford has throughout its long history benefited significantly from the generosity of its friends and benefactors.  Many important, valuable, and useful gifts — and numerous donations of money to purchase library materials — have enriched both our special collections and our modern teaching and research collections.

In addition to collection building, the Library carries out vital conservation work, to ensure the careful stewardship of our remarkable collections, for the benefit of future generations of scholars.  We are also engaged in digitisation work, to enhance both access to and preservation of our outstanding collections of rare books and manuscripts.  And we curate and interpret our collections to promote appreciation, enjoyment, and understanding of them through exhibitions and publications.

Now, more so than ever before, we rely on the generosity of our friends and alumni to help us safeguard and enhance our remarkable collections, which serve not only the needs of New College and other Oxford students and academics, but also scholars worldwide.



How to donate

Make a regular donation online, using our direct debit service

Make a single donation online

Donors based in the US can make a gift online via Americans for Oxford Inc. Please just select “New College” from the drop-down list and type “Library Fund” into the further information box.


How your donations help

Modern Teaching and Research Collections

A donation of £150-£200 could enable us to purchase sufficient copies of the most up-to-date edition of a key textbook for business, law, or medical students.  £100 could help us buy a much-needed new science title.  A donation of £75 could ensure we hold an important new critical edition of a literary author’s work.  A £50 donation might mean a new history or social sciences monograph for our collections.


Digitisation and Conservation

A high-quality, colour digital reproduction of one of our shorter manuscripts might require a donation of £500.  £5 could enable us to produce a similarly high-quality reproduction of one important opening from one of our celebrated manuscripts or early printed books, both in long-term archival quality format and a format suitable to use for our website or a publication.

Special Collections

A donation of £400 or more could enable us to buy an association copy of a modern antiquarian book, a copy that was once owned by an important New College alumna or alumnus.  £3,000 or more would enable us to acquire a significant early printed book.  A significant 16th-century early printed book or a fine presentation binding, e.g. for royalty, might need a donation of £10,000 or more.  An incunable (a 15th-century European imprint) with manuscript annotations important for New College could cost in the region of £40,000 or more, while a very significant and beautifully illuminated manuscript book of hours would require donations amounting to around £75,000 or more.  Donations from a number of friends and alumni would mean that we can make purchases of considerable impact that greatly enhance and add value to our existing collections, facilitating future research at New College.

We generally seek to build on the existing strengths of our rare book collections, which include law, theology, classics, medicine, and science.  History, literature, music, astronomy, and biology and botany are also important collecting areas for us.  Books that relate to New College and/or Winchester College are always of particular primary interest to us.

Copies associated with some of our important alumni — or previous illustrious donors — greatly enrich our collections for all current and future scholars.  These include: Thomas James, the first ever Bodley’s Librarian; Cardinal Reginald Pole, the last Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury (under Mary I); other New College men who were archbishops of Canterbury, Henry Chichele, William Warham, and William Howley; the Biblical scholar and bishop of London Robert Lowth; the writer and cleric Sydney Smith; the novelists John Galsworthy, Cyril Hare, John Fowles, John Edgar Wideman, D. M. Thomas, Dambudzo Marechera, Kate Mosse, Patrick Gale, Rachel Cusk, Roopa Farooki, Adam Thirlwell, and Natasha Pulley; the historian Irfan Habib; politicians Hugh Gaitskell and Tony Benn; the playwright Dennis Potter; and poets William Somervile, Lionel Johnson, Craig Raine, and Alice Oswald, a very recent Oxford Professor of Poetry.


Further Information

For further information contact Mark Curtis, Fellow & Director of Development:
T: +44 (0)1865 279261 E: mark.curtis@new.ox.ac.uk 

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