The Library Appeal

The Library embodies all that is special, but financially demanding, about the fabric of Christ Church. 

The restoration of the 18th century building was completed in 2011, but there are ongoing costs for both specific projects and the day-to-day running of the library. We aim to build up an endowment fund which will produce a secure annual sum for Library projects, and continue to protect an integral part of the House. We have a duty of care not only to our undergraduates, graduates, researchers and scholars, but also to those around the world with academic interests in our special and varied collections. Conserving, cataloguing, and digitising our resources and improving the environment for our members is a priority for us and many of our Alumni and Friends.

Making it happen

We rely on the support of our Alumni and Friends of the House to maintain and improve the Library. All gifts are welcomed and you can read more about specific projects we are fundraising for below. You can make a gift online here or sign up to a direct debit to protect the Library here

If you would like to speak to a member of the Development Office about ways in which you can support the Library, please get in touch

The Library Appeal - concertina

Boxing the Medieval Manuscript Collections

The conservation of this collection is a top priority for the Library. Each manuscript needs to be stored in a bespoke drop-spine Solander box, which will permit them to be laid flat and not be damaged. Each box costs £300 and may be ‘sponsored’ with a bookplate with the donor’s or another’s name. 

Working Library Book Fund Donations

The Library constantly needs to improve its holdings across all subjects. Costs for each subject naturally vary, but the average cost per subject is c. £3000 per year. All donations towards books are welcomed, and books thus funded may be book-plated with the donor’s name, and recorded in the online catalogue.

Improved Computing Access for the Reading Room

There is a need to provide new PCs to aid those with visual impairments, or other learning disabilities, with large-screen monitors, ergonomic mice and keyboards. 

Rare Books Fund

Occasionally books come to market that may be directly connected to the Library’s existing holdings, or have been owned by someone connected to the House. We are establishing a fund that will allow us to seize these opportunities and gratefully accept all donations for this purpose. 

Charting Byzantium at Christ Church: a descriptive catalogue of manuscripts

The Library houses a very little known collection of Byzantine manuscripts ranging from early Greek through medieval to modern examples. There are 86 manuscripts, dating from the 9th to the 18th century. These include patristic writings, Biblical texts, and mathematical treatises. We need a full catalogue of these texts.

The Western Manuscripts Collection post-1600: a descriptive online and print catalogue

There is a large section (300+) of the post-1600 Western Manuscripts collection for which there is no detailed, searchable catalogue. The Library needs a full, codicological, textual and historical description of each manuscript.

The Brady Theatre Collection: an online catalogue and image database

The Library holds an extraordinary collection of more than 35,000 items of theatrical ephemera donated by Francis Bridgford Brady in 1977. The archive includes play texts and bills; mezzotint illustraiotns and toy theatres; c.15,000 theatrical portraits of authors, actors and actresses; spanning from 1730 to 1960. We are seeking funding to create an online catalogue and freely available image database of the contents of the Brady Collection.

Continuing the project of digitising the library collections

We believe that all students, across the world, would benefit immeasurably from access to the Library’s rich collections of manuscripts, printed books, maps, theatrical ephemera, etc. in the core collections alone, there are over 1,500 manuscripts. Thanks to generous gifts from alumni and institutions such as Hanadiv and the Polonsky Foundation, this process has already started. The first examples may be seen on the library website. 

Archive projects

In order to protect and preserve the historic administrative documents held in the archive, we are appealing for gifts to the campaign of repackaging these documents, and Christ Church’s property documents for holdings outside Oxford, in archival standard boxes.