Page 1 of 3
Brasenose has two excellent libraries which members can access 24 hours a day. There are collections in all subject areas covered by the College. The Library holds more than 60,000 books and periodicals. It is also just a short distance from the University's Bodleian Library and many of the faculty and departmental libraries. A brief history of the library buildings can be found in the College buildings section.
Please note, if you are a current student requiring practical information about using and working in the library, visit our libguide for all relevant and up to date guidance.
The Greenland Library
The upper floor of the Greenland Library, named the Del Favero Reading Room (or Main Library), was opened in 1664, although it was restricted to use by Fellows of the College until 1897. It is on the first floor above a former cloister and is an impressive room with a painted barrel-vaulted ceiling and expansive views of the Radcliffe Camera and All Souls College.
The library is an excellent place to study with the light and airy space divided into sixteen bays, each with connections for laptops in addition to the wireless network.
The History Library
The History Library holds the modern history and politics collections and is reached by a short staircase leading from the Del Favero Reading Room. It was opened in 1951 and features two Tudor chimneys which were uncovered in a fire in 1950.
The Smith Reading Room
Beneath the Del Favero Reading Room, and linked with a spiral staircase, sits the recently completed Smith Reading Room. In addition to the books shelved in this amazing old cloister there are desks (some height adjustable) equipped with power and USB ports, a cosy casual seating area and a collaborative study room containing a large iBoard tablet for student use. The Smith Reading Room holds the physics, chemistry, maths and computing, engineering, geography, biological sciences (including medicine), music and art collections.
The Law Library
The Stallybrass Memorial Library, named after a former Principal, houses the College's law collections.
Antiquarian books and manuscripts
Brasenose holds a substantial and interesting collection of antiquarian books and manuscripts dating back to the thirteenth century. It is believed that by the mid-sixteenth century Brasenose owned in excess of 100 volumes and now holds around 2,500 books published before 1641. Many of these were chained until 1780 when a major refurbishment took place under the direction of James Wyatt.