Library and Archives
Bringing many different disciplines together, Keble Library is at the physical and intellectual heart of College.
The Working Library, which contains over 50,000 books, is open to current students, Fellows and staff of Keble College 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Books are stocked on all of the subjects offered by the College. Staff work hard to support students, to ensure that they have access to the print and electronic resources they need and to make sure that the Library is a good space to work in. Mindful that this is our students’ home library, we also offer a collection of classic fiction, films, and books on study skills, personal finance, travel and well-being. Complementing the space for quiet study provided by the Library’s traditional reading rooms, the Douglas Price Room serves during term time as a popular and lively library-run space for collaborative and group work.
The Special Collections include the personal library of John Keble and donations of early printed books and manuscripts from Victorian benefactors and are particularly significant for research into the history and literature of the Oxford Movement. The College’s collection of 70 medieval manuscripts, many beautifully illuminated, is one of the finest in Oxford. In recent years the most significant donations have been of modern literature, such as the 3,000 books on contemporary theatre from the library of producer and drama critic Martin Esslin and the personal poetry library of poet, critic and Keble Alumnus Ian Hamilton (1958). One of the highlights of our work is helping our students discover the historic resources in our care, whether in the form of workshops on the medieval manuscripts or early printed books or in seminars using the Library’s extensive collection of early editions of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Keble’s Archives provide an extraordinary resource, detailing the history of the College from its earliest days. Researchers can explore holdings such as College minutes, accounts and ledgers, records of clubs and societies, and the personal papers of alumni. We’re also very fortunate to have holdings of international importance that relate to the Oxford religious movement – including the personal papers of figures such as Keble, Liddon, and Pusey. We’re happy to answer brief queries via email or letter. If you’d like to do some research for yourself, we can make an appointment for you to come and visit. Details on how to do this can be found in our Guide to the Archives (pdf).
Readers with Disabilities
Providing the best access possible for all members of College is very important to us. Readers with disabilities are welcome to contact the Deputy Librarian to discuss their needs and how we can help them. There is also more in-depth information in our Students with Disabilities (pdf) guide.
Access For External Users
The Library is open only to current members of Keble College. Other University members may be permitted to read in the Library by appointment if the book required is not held by any other Oxford library. Researchers wishing to consult material from the Special Collections should also contact the Librarian in advance to make an appointment. To use material in the Archives, please contact the Archivist.