The Library

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.

You can search the College Library's physical holdings and online resources via SOLO. Read more about how we recently joined SOLO in our latest blog post. To search books in the College Library only, select "St Hilda's College Library" from the drop-down (the default is "search everything"). For news and information from St Hilda’s College Library, follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

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 full disabled access to all areas, as well as a disabled access washroom facility within the library.

There are usually ten desktop PCs and an all-in-one printer, scanner and photocopier. Wi-Fi is available in all library spaces, including the library garden, which provides an outdoor quiet study area.

Opening times - during term

The College Library space is open daily for browing and borrowing between 10am and 10pm.

Study spaces are also available at these times but must be booked in advance via the bookings portal (sign in using your Single Sign On, then select "appointments"). Each session lasts for 2 hours and students may book up to 4 sessions per week.

Opening times - out of term

The College Library space is open on weekdays for browsing and borrowing between 10am and 5pm.

Study spaces are available 10am-4pm, but must be booked in advance via the bookings portal (sign in using your Single Sign On, then select "appointments"). Each session lasts for 2 hours and students may book up to 4 sessions per week.


Members of the University and external visitors are usually admitted by prior appointment with the Librarian, but access is currently suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions.

To contact the Library Team, please email or phone 01865 276849.




Kathleen Major Library, St Hilda's College, from the first floorStudying in the Kathleen Major Library, St Hilda's CollegeSt Hilda's College Library Garden