About the Library
The Kathleen Major Library at St Hilda's College is a spacious, well-stocked and attractive library. It houses around 70,000 books across all the subjects studied at undergraduate level, with multiple copies of the most frequently-used items. Our more specialised collections are also useful for research students. We have particular strengths in medieval history and literature and women's studies. The library also has a dedicated fund to purchase books in support of postgraduate students on taught courses.
We have a large popular fiction section, including recreational material such as travel and cookery books. The library holds a small but significant collection of around 700 rare books, covering the 15th century to the present day. It is predominantly made up of donations, most notably by Dorothea Beale (1831-1906), the founder of the College. Together with the College archive, the rare books are kept in a secure archive store, where temperature and humidity levels are closely controlled.
With seven reading rooms over three floors, at full capacity the library offers seating for over 150 readers. Our galleried main reading room, dating from 1935, looks out over the River Cherwell and the spires of central Oxford. The library has step-free access to all areas, as well as a disabled access washroom facility within the library.
The library is open to all current students and staff from 8am to 1am daily.
Notice for Michaelmas Term 2023
Due to ongoing refurbishment work on the new library entrance, there will be no access to some parts of the library basement at the beginning of term. These areas include the IT room, the Winslow room and the Joan Hill room. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause to your studies. We will be operating a book fetching service during office hours for collections held in these affected areas. Please request books via our book request form. The study spaces and collections in the main reading room and gallery will not be impacted.
Members of the University and external visitors are only admitted by prior appointment with the Librarian.