Somerville College Library Staff
Matthew RoperLibrary Assistant
Before taking up this post in May 2010, Matthew worked in both Keble and Queen’s College Libraries, and is responsible for shelving, book processing and general library tasks.
He can usually be found at the service desk in the loggia, and if you have any issues with finding books or understanding the layout, classification or Library systems, he will be more than happy to help.
Any queries can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan PurverAssistant Librarian
Susan has worked in Somerville Library for thirty years, and before that was an undergraduate at Somerville.
She deals with most of the day-to-day running of the Library, and with ordering books; she also has a long-term project to catalogue the College’s antiquarian and special collections. She is usually to be found in the main Library office, except when buried in the depths of the stacks. She has a cataloguing blog where you can follow her progress (or lack of it) in cataloguing.
Jane RobinsonSenior Associate
Jane is a social historian, writer and lifelong friend of Somerville College. Born in Edinburgh and raised on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, Jane has been an ardent bibliophile since the age of seven, when she was banned from the local library for using a jam-tart bookmark in their copy of Squirrel Nutkin.
Jane first came to Somerville as a student, where she took a degree in English Language and Literature before moving to London to work in the antiquarian book trade. It was during this time that Jane’s first book (Wayward Women) was commissioned. Today, Jane works as a full-time writer and lecturer, specialising in social history through women’s eyes. She is the author of over a dozen books, including social histories of women’s education and the fight for the Vote, as well biographies of pioneering figures such as Josephine Butler and Mary Seacole.
Today, Jane lives just outside Oxford but can be found once a week in the Somerville archives, cataloguing our Special Collections.
Wayward Women: a Guide to Women Travellers (1990, Oxford UP, ISBN 0192828223)
Unsuitable for Ladies: an Anthology of Women Travellers (1994, Oxford UP, ISBN 0192116819)
Angels of Albion : Women of the Indian Mutiny (1996, Viking, ISBN 0670846708)
Parrot Pie for Breakfast : an Anthology of Women Pioneers (1999, Oxford UP, ISBN 0192880209)
Pandora’s Daughters: the Secret History of Enterprising Women (2002, Constable, ISBN 0094805105)
Published in USA as Women Out of Bounds: the Secret History of Enterprising Women (2003, Carroll & Graf, ISBN 0786710519)
Mary Seacole: The Charismatic Black Nurse Who Became a Heroine of the Crimea (2005, Constable, ISBN 9781845294977)
Bluestockings : the Remarkable Story of the First Women to Fight for an Education (2009, Viking, ISBN 9780141029719)
A Force to be Reckoned With: A History of the Women’s Institute (2011, Virago, ISBN 9781844086597)
In the Family Way: Illegitimacy Between the Great War and the Swinging Sixties (2015, Viking, ISBN 978-0670922062)
Hearts And Minds: The Untold Story of the Great Pilgrimage and How Women Won the Vote (2018, Doubleday, ISBN 978-0857523914)
Ladies Can’t Climb Ladders – The Pioneering Adventures of the First Professional Women (2020, Doubleday, ISBN 9780857525871)
Sarah ButlerLibrarian and Head of Information Services
Sarah Butler is the College Librarian and Head of Information Services.
She is responsible for managing the College’s extensive lending library and its special collections, including the College’s collections of pictures (as Keeper of the College Pictures), chattels and antiquarian books. Please contact Sarah if you have any queries about consulting or using the College’s collections.
Sarah also oversees the Archives, IT and AV services, and is the lead on Data Protection for the College. She is happy to answer enquiries on any of those topics.