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. 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.

At this time, in-person library services are strictly limited, as outlined below. These restrictions will remain in place until Monday 12th April.

Until then, all staff and students who wish to use the College's physical library collections should make use of our remote request service for scans, deliveries or collection.

Opening times

The College Library space is open to Graduate students and those Undergraduates on courses with permission to return. Other students living in Oxford may contact the library to seek permission for access. Such requests will be considered in consultation with the Dean on a case by case basis.

The space is currently available between the hours of 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm, Monday to Friday. It will remain locked at all other times so that library staff can provide remote services safely to support the majority of students this term. From Monday 12th April, it will be open 10am-4pm to provide an additional study session 12pm-2pm.

Two study sessions are currently available per day (Monday to Friday, 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm) and must be booked via the Bookings Portal. Sign in using your Single Sign On, then select "appointments".

Desks must be vacated promptly at the end of each session without the need for staff to intervene.


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