Summer Closure

Monday, 19th July - Friday, 8th October (inclusive). 

(updated 15th September 2021) 

The Library will reopen to Readers from Monday, 11th October (1st week). Previously registered Readers will be able to book seats and request books via the Library’s booking system. Bookings may be made up to two weeks in advance, and no less than 48 hours in advance. Please note that requesting a book does not automatically create a seat booking.  

Readers are still required to wear masks/face coverings while working in the Library (unless exempt).  

New Readers may apply here

Scans of modern materials may be requested through this form

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Remote Services

  • Scan & deliver: anyone may make a request for material not available elsewhere, full details are on the form here.

The Library is also continuing to provide the following services remotely:

  • General enquiries relating to access, holdings, services, research, etc are still being managed, though please note that answers requiring our access to physical collections may take longer than usual for us to answer.
  • Special collections research (archives, manuscripts, early printed books): while visits may not always be possible, queries and image requests may be submitted by email; and it may also be possible to arrange “virtual” appointments via Teams.

For either of the above, please email the Library directly at

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Library Information

The Library at All Souls College is, like all Oxford college libraries, an independent institution. Its modern collections are particularly strong in law and history, especially the history of Britain and early modern Europe, and military history. Philosophy, sociology, and the history of science are also well represented.

The Library welcomes applications for admission as a Reader from any member of the University (students on taught courses need to obtain a recommendation from their tutor/supervisor), as well as bona fide researchers.

The Library’s printed book collections are catalogued onto the University’s online catalogue, SOLO. This includes the early printed books, many of which are also available via EEBO, and an increasing number of digitized items are accessible via our digital resources website, here: Early Printed Books.

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"These Troublesome Times": All Souls College and the English Civil War

The first complete surviving All Souls College Minute Book, Acta in Capitulis, MS. 400a dates from 18th August 1601 to the final entry, dated 29th July 1707, when it was agreed that the Wood-House should be repaired. The manuscript comprises 260 folios, of which folios 1 – 258v are the text, and folios 259r – 260v are an index which may have been added when the papers were first bound. The fact that the edge of the text has disappeared into the gutter on a number of occasions does suggest that the papers were originally written on loose pages before being bound.

[Read the full article here]

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The Library at All Souls College, Oxford, is not only architecturally interesting in itself, but also has a distinctive place in the history of library design. The building of the Great Library started on June 21, 1716, to a plan by Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736), but the fitting out was not completed until 1751, and certain aspects of Hawksmoor’s concept were not realised as he had intended. Further additions to the fabric were made in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but these are of far less merit than the Great Library.

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