Library and archives

Christ Church Library is an important resource and research centre, primarily intended to provide undergraduate readers with the books they need for their studies. There is also a separate Law Library with a valuable and increasing collection of legal works. The Library also contains what is probably the largest and richest collection of early printed books and manuscripts in Oxford after the Bodleian Library. Its holdings are of international importance and are particularly rich in music, theology, Classics, travel books, numismatics, early science, medicine and Hebrew studies.

Over all, there are well over 80,000 early printed books and 7,000 manuscripts in this extraordinary library. An impressive number of these are rare or unique texts, several are masterpieces of book design, and  many have illustrious provenance (King Edward III, Thomas Wolsey, King Henry VIII, Robert Burton, John Dee, Michel de Montaigne and Queen Elizabeth I).

Today the Library is a very busy place. Members of the college and researchers use the large modern collection downstairs and examine rare books and manuscripts. The Library's imaging studio is engaged in a comprehensive digitization project and deals with constant photographic requests. Recent research is published in Christ Church Library Newsletter, an academic journal largely documenting and interpreting aspects of the collections. The Library offers numerous exhibitions, talks and workshops. Visitors are always welcome.

Opening Times

We apologise for the delay in re-opening the library after the summer break.  We are altering the steps and creating an inclined walkway to make access to the library easier for all.  Please phone (01865 276 169 or 01865 276 265) or email ( if you need the library urgently.

Student Library, 8am - midnight, every day.

Special Collections and Exhibitions in the Upper Library, 10am - 1pm & 2pm - 4:30pm, Monday to Friday

Research News

Library and archives
Tuesday, August 2, 2016 - 10:27
To celebrate the opening of the Tudor Partbooks exhibition, on 12 May 2016, the Library invited Dr...
Library and archives
Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - 12:09
2016 sees an unprecedented number of opportunities for Summer School attendees, Workshop...
Library and archives
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - 12:27
Christ Church library is running a printing workshop to mark the launch of a limited edition of...