Christ Church Crest

The Library

Christ Church Library. Photo: Ralph Williamson

The Christ Church Library: a whole House project

The Library embodies all that is special, but financially demanding, about the fabric of Christ Church. It is no ordinary college library. It is precious both for its architecture and contents; but it is large and expensive to run.

This project consists of two parts that together bring about a complete resolution. First, there remains a restoration challenge, which must be completed if the contents and fabric of the building are to be secured. Secondly, there is a more enduring requirement to endow permanently the Library’s expenditure costs, and to contribute thereby to the long term preservation of collegiate education.

The success of an identical project specifically for the Law Library has prompted the decision to ask Old Members from all subjects to support this initiative.

The Library is one of several special features of the House – the Picture Gallery, the Meadow, the Cathedral and the Cathedral School – which, along with the sheer size of the college’s buildings, define its special identity but also put enormous financial pressure on its finances. They add approximately £1.75 million annually to operating costs compared to most colleges.

To ensure that Christ Church is able to go on providing a first-class tutorial education and a secure and special place for graduates and undergraduates to live and study, the college has planned with great care a long-term programme to ensure that the endowment is adequate, in perpetuity, to meet such demands, and that the fabric is looked after and maintained with the care that such a historical treasure deserves. The Library project is a key element of that whole-House programme.

Christopher Pelling
Regius Professor of Greek and Librarian

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