Jesus College Libraries

Guide Information
Last Updated: Aug 29, 2014
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Guide Index
Meyricke Library
Celtic Library
Fellows' Library, manuscripts, and archives

Meyricke Library

Quick links
Finding books

Books in Jesus College appear in SOLO, the library catalogue covering the majority of library collections of the University of Oxford. You can check SOLO anywhere without logging in.

If the book you want is on loan to another reader, you can place a hold on it. You will receive an email once the book is available. If it's urgent, please contact the Library.

Requesting books

Can't find a book on your reading list? We encourage you to recommend books for the Library, including additional copies of textbooks.

Although the Library cannot guarantee to buy every book suggested, remember that the College offers book grants.

Printing and copying

The photocopier outside the Upper Library also offers scanning and colour printing. It is maintained by the college Computing Office.

DVD Library

The JCR & MCR DVD collection is housed in the Upper Library. You may borrow a DVD for up to 7 days (no renewals) by scanning it out in the usual way.

Meyricke Library

The main library for members of Jesus College (including staff) is the Meyricke Library. It is open 24 hours a day. Wi-Fi is available throughout the Library.

Meyricke Upper LibraryThree reading rooms offer you a variety of study spaces:

  • The Lower Library contains law, science, and English literature.
  • The Upper Library holds books in the humanities and social sciences.
  • The Periodicals Room on the ground floor holds theology, books about Oxford, and a number of serial publications in the humanities.

Books on study skills are in section N in the Lower Library lobby. The welfare library is kept in the college nurse's waiting room. There is also a dedicated Graduate Study Room elsewhere in College.

How to borrow

The Library is self-service. To borrow a book, scan it at one of the self-issue computers on your way out. You will need your University Card to borrow.

Books can be borrowed until the end of each term or for the vacation. You will receive an automatic reminder when your books are due for return or renewal.

Note that if you pass a book to another student in college, you are still responsible for it.

Returning and renewing books

To return a book, simply leave it in the secure book return box on the ground floor, or on one of the designated tables at each level of the Library. The Library staff will then remove the book from your record.

You can renew your books through SOLO using your Single Sign-On. If your books have become overdue, please ask staff to renew them for you.

Library Assistant

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Are you an Oxford Fresher?

Library Assistant is our online guide to library services for new undergraduate students. It is adapted to work on smartphones and tablets so you can access it anywhere.  You can use Library Assistant to -

  • Find libraries around Oxford
  • Get help finding books on your reading lists
  • Get information about library WiFi, passwords and photocopying
  • ...and much more

Visit Library Assistant at -

Support for students with disabilities

Readers with disabilities, and prospective students, are invited to contact the Librarian to discuss support in using the Library. A guide to access to the College buildings is available on the main College website.

Students may nominate another member of College, or a support worker approved by the University's Disability Advisory Service, to accompany them in the Library or borrow books on their behalf. Library staff can arrange for books to be delivered to the Lodge or directly to student rooms for readers who cannot access the Library.

Contact the Library

Jesus College logo

Office hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday


Telephone: (01865) 279704
(internal: 79704)

[picture of Owen]

Owen McKnight (Librarian)

[picture of Emma]

Emma Jones
(Graduate Library Trainee)

More in Oxford

Jesus College Libraries are independent of the Bodleian Libraries, but college members are entitled to use the Bodleian's services. These include extensive e-resources (books, journals, and databases).

Note that, in general, members of Jesus College may not use the libraries of other colleges. (All Souls and Nuffield are open on application.) However, books held only in college libraries and not in the Bodleian may be consulted by appointment. Jesus College Libraries do not otherwise participate in interlibrary loan or reciprocal access arrangements.

Similarly, students from other colleges (and Old Members of Jesus College) may only use the Meyricke Library by appointment.

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Celtic Library

Selected new books
Celtic Library

The Celtic Library at Jesus College supports study and research in the Celtic languages, namely Welsh, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Breton, Cornish, and Manx, together with Celtic history, archaeology, and culture. Books in the Celtic Library appear in SOLO, the library catalogue covering the majority of library collections of the University of Oxford.

Members of the University of Oxford specialising in Celtic studies may apply for admission to the Celtic Library. Other readers may be granted reference access by appointment. Please contact the Librarian in the first instance.

The Celtic Library occupies a separate room within the modern languages section of the Meyricke Library (the main library for students at Jesus College). Please borrow your books at the Upper Library self-issue computer and return them to the Celtic Library entrance. Readers from other colleges may borrow only from the Celtic Library, not from the general Meyricke Library collections.


The Red Book of HergestThe Celtic Collection is arranged by language as follows:

Z      General
ZA    Welsh
ZB    Irish
ZC    Scottish Gaelic
ZD    Manx
ZE    Breton
ZF    Cornish
ZG    Basque (historic)

Each language has six broad subdivisions:

i     General
ii    Linguistics
iii   Literature
iv   History
v    Religion and mythology
vi   Music

Welsh manuscripts

Twenty Welsh manuscripts at Jesus College were catalogued by J. Gwenogvryn Evans for the Historical Manuscripts Commission. MSS 15, 16, 17, 20, 22, 23, 28, 57, 61, 88, 90, 101, 111, 112, 119, and 137 to 141 are described in pages 1-90 of Report on manuscripts in the Welsh language. Volume II. Part I (London: H.M.S.O., 1902).

Facsimiles of nine Welsh manuscripts, including the Red Book of Hergest (MS 111), are available as part of Early Manuscripts at Oxford University. Please see the copyright notice there for information on reproducing images from our special collections. MSS 20, 57, 111, and 119 have been edited for Welsh Prose 1300-1425.

Jesus Chair of Celtic
Jesus College is appealing for funds for the permanent endowment of the Jesus Chair of Celtic, which is currently vacant.
More in Oxford

Another significant collection for Celtic studies in Oxford is the Celtic collection at the Taylor Institution Library. Books and journals on the archaeology of the Celtic countries are also held in the Sackler Library.

J.R.R. Tolkien's personal Celtic library is preserved at the English Faculty Library.

The Language Centre supports learners in the Celtic languages among many others.

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Fellows' Library, manuscripts, and archives

Fellows' Library

The Fellows' Library interiorThe Fellows' Library at Jesus College is a fine 17th-century room which holds the College's 11,500 early printed books.  The Wikipedia article on the College buildings summarises the history of the Fellows' Library. There is a useful overview of our special collections in Paul Morgan's Oxford libraries outside the Bodleian (2nd edition, 1980, pages 49–53) and a fuller account in C.J. Fordyce & T.M. Knox, ‘The Library of Jesus College, Oxford: with an appendix on the books bequeathed thereto by Lord Herbert of Cherbury’, Proceedings and papers of the Oxford Bibliographical Society, volume 5, part 2 (1937), pages 49–115.

Approximately 80% of the books have been catalogued on SOLO, the library catalogue covering the majority of library collections of the University of Oxford, and a short-title list of the remaining books is available below under the title 'Uncatalogued material'. The Bodleian Libraries have advice on searching for early printed books on SOLO. For English books printed before 1801, you may prefer to search the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC)

To make an appointment to consult a book from the Fellows' Library, please contact the Librarian well in advance of travelling to Oxford. Facilities for external readers are limited and so you may be redirected to the Bodleian unless the Jesus College copy has particular interest.

There are open days for current members of College throughout the year. Old Members wishing to visit the Fellows' Library should contact the Development Office. The College is able to offer accommodation subject to availability. Note that the Fellows' Library is reached by two flights of stairs.


T.E. Lawrence on Crusader castlesThe medieval and early modern manuscripts owned by Jesus College date back to the 11th century. They have been on deposit in the Bodleian Library since 1886 and thus appointments to consult manuscripts with numbers between 1 and 150 should be made with the Bodleian. The most recent catalogue is the second volume of Coxe's Catalogus codicum MSS. qui in collegiis aulisque Oxoniensibus hodie adservantur (1852) (MS 146 is catalogued in Ker's Medieval manuscripts in British libraries). Modern manuscripts numbered 151 and above, including T.E. Lawrence's undergraduate thesis (MS 181), are held in the College Library and the Archives.

    Photography of books and manuscripts

    Researchers may take digital photographs of Jesus College manuscripts for the purposes of private research and study according to the Bodleian Libraries' regulations, provided that copyright and/or publication right in the images is assigned to the College. The same condition applies for photographs of early printed books in the Fellows' Library.

    Permission to reproduce images from the College's manuscripts or printed books must be obtained from the College Librarian in advance of any publication, but is not normally withheld. We reserve the right to charge a reproduction fee. Please email with details of the image to be reproduced or complete the form below. Copyright in the reproduced image remains with Jesus College.

    Photographs of provenance evidence in the Fellows' Library, including bookplates and marginalia, are available on Flickr, with copyright retained by the College.

    Jesubite collection

    The Jesubite collection consists of books by and about Fellows, Old Members, and others associated with Jesus College. It is catalogued on SOLO and available in the Periodicals Room for current College members to borrow from, with the exception of books by and about T.E. Lawrence, which are confined to the Meyricke Library. Donations are welcomed.

    College history

    There are two book-length histories of Jesus College:

    • E.G. Hardy, Jesus College (London: F.E. Robinson, 1899)
    • J.N.L. Baker, Jesus College, Oxford, 1571-1971 (Oxford: Jesus College, 1971)

    Two shorter articles of value, including the summary in the Victoria County History:

    • J.N.L. Baker, 'Jesus College', pages 264-279 in H.E. Salter & M.D. Lobel (editors), A History of the County of Oxford, Volume 3: The University of Oxford (London: Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research, 1954)
    • Brigid Allen, 'The Early History of Jesus College, Oxford, 1571-1603' Oxoniensia LXIII (1998), pages 105-124.

    Jesus College logo

    Fellows' Library
    Jesus College
    Turl Street
    OX1 3DW
    United Kingdom


    Telephone: (01865) 279704
    (international: +44 1865 279704)

    Owen McKnight (Librarian)

    Emma Jones
    (Graduate Library Trainee)

    Fellow Librarian: Dr John Magorrian

    Blog posts about the Fellows' Library

    More in Oxford

    The official records of Jesus College and associated personal papers are preserved in the Archives.

    Jesus College's entry in the National Archives' ARCHON directory

    The oil paintings in Jesus College have been photographed and digitised by the Public Catalogue Foundation.

    Overviews of special collections in Oxford colleges and the Bodleian Libraries are available on LibGuides.

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