Opening Hours

The Library is open to readers from Monday to Friday, 10am to 4:30pm.

New readers should apply by completing this form.

Previously registered readers with a current SSO should complete this form to renew their access.

Previously registered readers without a current SSO (readers not currently affiliated with the University of Oxford) should complete this form to renew their access.

Previously registered readers who have a new Bodleian/University card or have not yet used the Library should book an appointment for card activation.

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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 library@all-souls.ox.ac.uk.

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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 most recent additions to the Library's digital resources are the Hovenden Maps detailing the College's estates, surveyed at the request of Warden Robert Hovenden. The maps were produced in the 1580s and 1590s, initially drawn up by Thomas Clerke, assisted by Thomas Langdon, who continued the work after Clerke's death in 1592. They are an invaluable source for historians of land administration, husbandry, land usages, and the history of buildings; as well as for those interested in land ownership, particularly in the counties of Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, and Middlesex.

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drawing of church tower

The Wren Drawings

After the death of Sir Christopher Wren's son, the College acquired almost half of the extant drawings, representing the full spectrum of Wren's career, including his work for the church, the crown, and the universities; many of the drawings show un-executed designs and preparatory sketches.

The images are catalogued in Anthony Geraghty, The Architectural Drawings of Sir Christopher Wren at All Souls College, Oxford: a Complete Catalogue (Aldershot: Lund Humphries, 2008) and online on the Library website at https://library.asc.ox.ac.uk/wren/

The image above is from Geraghty 164, an unexecuted design for the rebuilding of St. Mary's Church, Warwick.

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