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» Library Rules and Regulations 1776

Library Rules and Regulations 1776

These Library Regulations (transcribed from Christ Church Archives, D+C iv.a.2) give a good idea of how the Library operated shortly after the final completion of the New Library in 1775.

Three points are particularly striking: the acute sense of hierarchy which underlies them, the clear distinctions between the roles of the College Librarian and the Wake Librarian, and the extremely limited opening hours.





Fees payable to the Library upon Admission

  For books Under Librarian
  £. s. d. £. s. d.
Dean 5-0-0 5-0-0
Canon 2-10-0 0-10-0
Nobleman 1-5-0 0-5-0
Doctor 1-5-0 0-5-0
B.D. 0-15-0 0-5-0
M.B. " "
L.L.B. " "
M.A. 0-13-4 0-5-0
B.A. 0-6-8 0-5-0
Gent. Commoners 0-15-0 0-5-0
Student 0-10-0 - -


The Library of Christ Church to be open

  • from 10 till 2, and 4 till 6, from 5th April to October
  • from 10 till 2, from 10th of October to ye 5th of April

On Holidays & Holiday Eves & Saturday afternoon, in Prayer and Sermon time to be shut, and open again afterwards.

[fol 2]

The Closets are reserved to ye Discretion of those who are intrusted with Keys, viz the Dean and Canons and Two Principal Librarians..

The two Lower Closets for Masters and Noblemen

The Principal Librarians

One to be appointed by the Dean & Chapter The other by Wakes Trustees

Each, if a layman, to have an additional faculty place in reward of his Services during his Continuance in the Office.

If in Orders, to have Liberty to hold a Benefice not in the Gift of the College.

The Principal Librarians to enjoy their Privileges upon the Terms of ye Standing Order 1713 [Quandum] Officium personaliter praestiterit.

Wake’s Librarian to have half of the Stipend.

College Principal Librarian not to be absent but by Leave of Dean & Chapter.

[fol 3]

Wake’s Principal Librarian not to be absent but by leave of Dean and Trustees.

Dean and Chapter to have Master Keys and Access at all time and to all parts except Wakes MSS and Medals. Keys to be mark’d with Number of the stall.

Principal Librarians may have Master Keys thro’out their respective Districts (Wakes MSS and Medals to be kept as the Wake Trustees shall Direct).

Those Master Keys are not to be lent to any One, except to a Master of Arts or under Librarian who shall personally attend persons visiting ye Library.

When sick or going out of Town, Librarians Keys to be delivered to Dean or Subdean or Senr. Canon. Neither of the Principal Librarians may appoint any other Substitutes in Case of Absence or Illness excepting each other or some person approved.

[fol 4]

by the Dean or Subdean or Senr. Canon, under the same Restriction as the Principal Librarian.

Each Principal Librarian to have an under Librarian.

One to be appointed by the College Principal Librarian with the Consent of the Dean and Chapter.

The other by Wakes Librarian with Consent of the Wake Trustees.

Both of these to be Constantly attending the Library during Library Hours; one of them always to be in ye Great Room.

Neither under Librarian is to have access to the MSS. Medals or other Curiosities usually lock’d up. Neither to appoint any one to officiate in his stead.

In Case of Illness or absence or extraordinary Occasions, the Principal Librarian in his Department to make Provision.

[fol 5]

The Members admissable to ye Library are to be ye same as usual hitherto, All Graduates, Noblemen and Gentlemen Com[m]oners but no other Undergraduates, but on the Com[m]on foot of Strangers, any Person admitted to the Library may have a Com[m]on Key, paying for it 0 2 6 to the under Librarians to be divided between them.

These Keys are to be delivered up to one of the Librarians on leaving the College.

Towards defraying ye expenses of the Under Librarians, there is to be pd. quarterly.

  £ - s - d
By the House 0 -10 - 0
The Dean 0 -10 - 0
The Eight Canons Each 0 - 8 - 0
Each Nobleman 0 - 5 - 0
Gent. Com[m]oner 0 - 2 - 6
Grad: Student & Chaplain 0 - 1 - 0
Comr & Servitor Master and Bachr. 0 - 1 - 0


[fol 6]

The sum so raised to be paid quarterly by the Butler to the College Principal Librarian without any Deduction for Poundage excepting Non-Foundationers.

The Library is to be Cleaned from time to time by the Direction of the College Principal Librarian, at the expense of the House.

The under Librarians are to deliver all Books wanted.

The under Librarians are to deliver our and register all Books permitted to be borrowed out of the Library, and to note the return of them (The Person borrowing subscribing his Name).

Noblemen and Masters of Arts are permitted to borrow out of the Library any number of Volumes Not exceeding four, excepting all M.S.S. and Books properly belonged to the Archives; all Commentaries Dictionaries, Books of Medals, Maps and Prints.

[fol 7]

Bachelors of Arts and Gent. Com[m]oners are allowed the same Privilege, the former bringing a Note of Permission from the Subdean, and during his absence from the Senior Canon, the latter from their Tutor.

All Persons are understood to be obliged upon Honour and Conscience not to write annotations in, interpolate, willfully spooil, olbliterate, Stain, Soil, or any other way injure, any Book belonging to ye Library.

No Person is to lend any Book he has Borrowed from the Library to any other Person. if any shall be known to Transgress this Order he shall be Deprived of ye Privilege of the Library for the future.

All Books are to be returned within Thirty days from the time of borrowing.

[fol 8]

The Librarians are to call in by publick Notice in the Hall all Books borrowed from the Library a fortnight before the day it is visited by the Dean and Canons.

No M.S.S. to be Collated, but by leave of Dean or Subdean & Canons. Nor to be inspected but in the presence of ye Principal Librarian.

Wakes M.S.S. by leave of two of Wake’s Trustess.

The Library is to be visited by Dean and Canons (or Students deputed for the absent Canons) the first Monday in Act Term.

The principal Librarians are to lay their Accounts the same day before the Dean and Canons. - Wake’s Librarian before the Trustees.

They are to call in by Public Notice in the Hall all Books a fortnight before ye day of Visitation.

[fol 9]

Persons going out of Town and Neglecting to return the Books which they have borrowed. - On neglecting to deliver them within the fortnight before the Visitation to forfeir the Value of the Book or whole Set of Books, to which that Volume belongs, to the use of the Library.

July 12 1776

[signed] W. Chester Dean
Edw. Bentham
R: Cust
J Jeffreys
B: Kennicott
R. Browne.

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