The library seen from the side

Somerville has one of the biggest college libraries in Oxford and occupies most of the north side of our main quadrangle. It's a comfortable and spacious place to work, with plug points and access to WiFi. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for whenever you need to work. All of this means that our students have access to some of the best College library provisions in the University.

The elegant and spacious building holds a collection of around 120,000 items, 95,000 of which are on the shelves, making it one of the biggest College libraries in the University - and it's constantly expanding.

As a student at Oxford University you will also have access to the Bodleian Libraries, which is the largest university library system in the UK with over 13 million items in its collections. The central site Bodleian Library buildings are a ten minute walk from Somerville. Although the University libraries also have copies of your books, readers often aren't allowed to take any books away and are restricted to the reading room's opening hours to be able to study. At Somerville however, there is no limit on the number of books you can borrow and you are allowed to keep a book on loan for a whole term or across a vacation. We will also purchase additional books for our collection if you request them.

The library has received donations of books, pictures, artefacts and papers from distinguished figures such as John Stuart Mill, John Ruskin, Vera Brittain and Amelia Edwards, not to mention many former tutors and students. Our John Stuart Mill collection contains around 2,000 of his own and his father’s books, with their annotations in the margins.

The library also has a healthy stock of non-academic fiction and a large collection of DVDs if you ever need to relax during your time here!

A student works in Somerville library

Library Blogs

The Librarians run a number of blogs to help students stay up to date.

You can find out about the Library's new acquisitions (the collection really does grow every week), discover this week's book of the month, and hear the latest news from the library.

Two students sit on a bench overlooking the Library