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 step-free 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. 

Opening times

The College Library is open to all current students and staff from 10am to10pm daily.

No appointment is needed for browsing, borrowing or quick printing, but you must have an appointment to stay and study.

Study sessions are available in two-hour slots and must be booked via the Bookings Portal. Sign in using your Single Sign On, then select "The Library". 

Desks must be vacated promptly at the end of each study session without the need for staff to intervene. At present, there is no limit on the number of bookings per student per week, but it may be necessary to implement a limit later in term as demand increases. Please book only for study sessions you will attend, and make sure to cancel any bookings you can no longer attend so that the space is available to other students.

All remote services remain in place for students who are studying away from Oxford, self-isolating or would prefer not to visit the Library in person.

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