About us

Library provisions at St John’s College began in 1555, the year of its foundation, with about 150 volumes. These were mostly theological, philosophical and legal books together with texts by classical authors given by John White of Southwick (who may have been the brother or cousin of the College founder, Sir Thomas White) and other friends of the Founder.

Today, St John’s College Library houses an eclectic historical collection of around 200 Western medieval and modern manuscripts each, roughly 20,000 books printed before 1850, several Oriental manuscripts, and important collections of papers and books owned by renowned writers such as Robert Graves, A.E. Housman and Spike Milligan.

This site is a digital portal to our collections, enabling you to access and interact with our Special Collections in a new and exciting way.

  • We are working on a digital library which will follow the progress of St John’s College’s Digitisation Project with links to online catalogue records and digitises manuscripts as and when these go live. This section will also contain finding aids which will convey the whole extend of our collections for the very first time.
  • In the blog posts the library staff and guests present our collections from a variety of viewpoints and interests.
  • Our exhibitions page invites you to explore our current and past exhibitions from anywhere in the world.
  • Check out our News page for the latest updates on our projects and for our twitter feed.

Click here to discover more about the history of St John’s College Library.

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