Every college library is the home of treasured volumes and cherished nooks in which to study. But there are good reasons why the Somerville library holds a special place in the heart of every Somerville student, past and present.

Built in 1903 to the designs of architect Basil Champneys, it is one of the biggest and best-stocked undergraduate college libraries in the university. Our collection holds almost 120,000 items and is enriched by internationally important special collections, including those bequeathed by the estates of John Stuart Mill and Vera Brittain.

The Library in Numbers

120000+

items in the library

2300

new purchases every year

1225AD

oldest book in our collection

Using the Library

The main collection of the Somerville College library is intended primarily for the use of college students and staff. However, the library also contains special collections which are available to view via appointment. Students wishing to know the latest guidance on accessing the library should consult the Somerville Library blog.

view the library blog

The Library Team

The Somerville library team work tirelessly to ensure that the library’s resources remain available to every student who wishes to use them. A friendly bunch, they’re always happy to help with any question or query you have.

If you would like to get in touch reach us at library@some.ox.ac.uk or
archives@some.ox.ac.uk

Susan Purver Assistant Librarian
Kate O’Donnell Assistant Archivist
Matthew Roper Library Assistant
Anne Manuel Librarian, Archivist and Head of Information Services
Jane Robinson Special Collections Assistant

What's happening at Somerville

News *

Somerville Welcomes Yemeni Neuroscientist Dr Anwar Masoud

Somerville Welcomes Yemeni Neuroscientist Dr Anwar Masoud

News *

Somerville Gives Royal Welcome to HRH Prince Charles

Somerville Gives Royal Welcome to HRH Prince Charles

News *

Somerville JRF recognised for his work on water justice

Somerville JRF recognised for his work on water justice
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We are very proud to reveal our shiny, hot off the press, brand new website! 🎉 We hope you'll love our clean and colourful new look, including revamped areas for students, alumni and prospective applicants.
When HRH Prince of Wales launches your sustainability plan at the start of the week and you end the week with a symposium on the climate emergency, it might feel like a comedown to talk about eating more veg in the middle - but eating less meat is one of the best ways to reduce your personal carbon footprint. We're inviting you to get involved in Good Food Oxford and Oxford Greentech's new #SwitchUpYourLunch campaign. All you need to do is try out a delicious veggie/vegan lunch this Monday June 14th instead of the usual ham sandwich, and you can help make Oxfordshire greener. (What's your favourite veggie/vegan lunch? We'd love to hear your ideas for tasty dishes for your fellow Somervillians to try out on Monday!)
An elegant watering strategy for the new beech domes. #nofilter @studiousgardens
It's been hard to keep a lid on this... but we can now (finally!) share with you that we were visited today by His Royal Highness Prince Charles. During his visit, the Prince of Wales heard about 100 years of degrees for women, sustainability research at the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development, and our vision to become a fully sustainable, carbon neutral institution. After our students extended a wonderfully warm and colourful welcome to the Prince, he planted a Rehderodendron macrocarpum tree in our Darbishire quad, the blossom of which will provide early pollen and nectar for invertebrates as well as a beautiful addition to Darbishire each May for years to come. Thank you to all the hard work that went in to today from our staff, and from @clarencehouse and their team.
🎟 Bidding is now live on our Lots of Joy Somerville auction and what a day it’s been! Thank you to everyone who has supported us 🥰 There’s another whole week to get your bids in before we culminate in a fantastic evening of entertainment with @labourroyall @kaplinskyn and @susiedent so get bidding and save the date for the 20th! 🤩
givergy.uk/SomervilleCollege
#TheSomervilleAuction
🎟 Bidding is now live on our Lots of Joy Somerville auction and what a day it’s been! Thank you to everyone who has supported us 🥰 There’s another whole week to get your bids in before we culminate in a fantastic evening of entertainment with @labourroyall @kaplinskyn and @susiedent so get bidding and save the date for the 20th! 🤩
givergy.uk/SomervilleCollege
#TheSomervilleAuction
🎟 Bidding is now live on our Lots of Joy Somerville auction and what a day it’s been! Thank you to everyone who has supported us 🥰 There’s another whole week to get your bids in before we culminate in a fantastic evening of entertainment with @labourroyall @kaplinskyn and @susiedent so get bidding and save the date for the 20th! 🤩
givergy.uk/SomervilleCollege
#TheSomervilleAuction
Get ready for #NoMowMay! The Gardens are going to be looking a bit different this month as we join councils, national trust estates and many others across the UK in saying no to the mow to support the UK's biodiversity. The mower will be kept well away from many of our lawns for the duration of May. At the end of the month, on the Bank Holiday Weekend, we'll take part in Plantlife's nationwide “Every Flower Counts” survey and help researchers gain crucial insights into the health of the UK's wild flower population. Thanks @StudiousGardens for getting Somerville involved - we're really looking forward to welcoming some lovely bees! 🌻🌷🌼🐝
FYI, this is what you get when you finish your medical degree at Somerville: a special cake made by your tutor (the amazing Dr Helen Ashdown), complete with 'tablets', correctly coloured syringes of edible blood, and 5 ECG rhythms piped around the edge. Congratulations everyone! #lovelytutors #peoplefirst #cakesofinstagram