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Our Library

About the Library

Oriel has two main libraries for you to use, accessible from Second and Third Quad. The Pantin Library (also known as the Junior Library) holds the main collection of books and the Senior Library holds our incredible special collections.

The Pantin Library is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for Oriel students, staff and Fellows. It is self-service, although Library staff are always happy to help during the office hours which are 9am-5pm on Monday to Friday.

The Senior Library (which opened in 1795) is available as a study space from 10am – 4pm, Monday to Friday during 1st-8th week. Requests to use the Senior Library outside the specified timings is by appointment with the Librarian only. The rare books and Orielensia (books by and about former students) are available for consultation via prior agreement with the Librarian.

The College Archives are also located within the Library and are home to documents from 1150 to the present day. Please contact the Archivist if you would like to view them. We hope you agree that Oriel Library is a unique, welcoming environment for study and please do not hesitate to contact Library staff if you have any queries, feedback or requests.

More information about the Archives

Using the Library

Here’s a guide on how to make use of our Library.


The Library is open to all current members of Oriel. The Junior Library (Pantin Library) is accessed via doors in second and third quad and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via your University (Bod) Card. The Senior Library is open from 10AM-4PM on weekdays during full term only for silent study. For access please ask for a SALTO card at the Library Office on the Ground Floor.

The Library office, located on the ground floor, is open from Monday to Friday from 9AM to 5PM, and staff will be happy to answer any questions you have.

The Ground Floor reading room desks can be booked in advance. No booking is needed for the 1st and 2nd floor reading rooms.


Slots to use the Ground Floor reading room desk spaces in the Library can be booked here. This room is reserved for those with accessibility needs or covid concerns. Slots will be released a week in advance. Masks and social distancing are mandatory in this room at all times, and extra cleaning is done between slots. This service is available Monday-Friday only, from 8.30am until midnight. Please note that you will not be able to stay in the Library between slots (i.e. 1pm-1:30pm/4.30pm-5pm).

Belongings may not be left in the library between slots. No booking is needed for the 1st and 2nd floor reading rooms.

Finding Books and Resources

To find books in our Library, you can search online using SOLO, the University’s online catalogue. Click on the drop-down menu next to ‘Search everything’ and select ‘Oriel College Library’ to limit your search to our Library. Have a look at the SOLO LibGuide for tips on how to narrow your search results.

SOLO is also your starting point for finding E-Resources. On the SOLO homepage, under useful links, you can find links to Journals A-Z and Databases A-Z.

Hold Requests

If a book you need is on loan to someone else and no other copies are available at Oriel Library or any of the Bodleian libraries, you can request the item through SOLO. The person who has the item on loan will then have to bring back the book to us within 3 days, and we will email you when it’s here.

When an item is marked as ‘Closed Stack’ on SOLO, it means that the book is kept in the Library office stacks rather than the open shelves in the reading rooms. You can place a request on SOLO, in the same way you would place a hold request on an item that is on loan.

Borrowing and Renewing

Most books in the Library can be borrowed using our self-issue terminals. You are allowed to borrow up to 30 items at a time.

Loans are for the full academic period (0th week of Michaelmas Term to 8th week of Trinity term) and can be renewed through SOLO once for the Long Vacation if required.

The Library charges overdue fees when books are not renewed or returned after the last day of 8th week Trinity Term. You will receive a reminder to renew your items in your email inbox. Once books are overdue, there will be an overdue charge of 50p a day (Mon-Fri) per book. After 4 weeks, the £10 of fines and the costs of a replacement book will be added to your battels ready for the start of Michaelmas term. Once added to battels the cost of the book can only be reversed if the item is returned and a replacement hasn’t been bought yet.

Furthermore, any books damaged, lost or not returned when recalled will be charged to your battels.

Remote Services

Even if you’re not currently in Oxford, or prefer not to use the library spaces, Oriel Library is still here to support you. We have a number of remote services to help you access library resources, and the library team are available via email to support your research and study needs remotely.

Access a scanned copy of up to 5-10% or 1-2 chapters (copyright-dependent) of a book, or one article in a periodical, from the Library’s collections. Alternatively, new books can be sent directly to you, as if borrowed from the Library. While it may not always be possible to fulfil your request, we will do our best to help you.

Being part of the University of Oxford gives you access to a wealth of online resources, from databases, to e-books, online journals, and much more. E-resources can be found via SOLO (SSO needed). Find subject-specific information on the Library’s WebLearn pages. The Library can also purchase e-books in some cases. Email us for support with finding and accessing online resources.

Email to find out more about accessing our remote services. You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep in touch.

Suggest a Book

To suggest a book for purchase, you can use the online suggestion form, come in and ask the Library staff or send us an email:

We try to obtain recommended books as quickly as possible, and will let you know when the item arrives.

We use tags on SOLO, so you can keep track of our new acquisitions each term. They are formed as follows: orl book [term (MT, HT or TT)][year], so for instance ‘orl book MT2021’. To search the tags, select advanced search on SOLO and select ‘user tags’ in the drop-down menu at ‘any field’.

Orielensia and Special Collections

There is a collection of books on or about old members named the Orielensia collection housed in the Cedar Room of the Senior Library. If you would like to consult a book from this collection, or an item from our special collections, please let Library staff know.


We have lots of assistive equipment available for you to use in our Library: noise cancelling headphones, book supports, laptop stands, pens, paper, rulers, chargers, power banks, cables, computer mice, book snakes, USB sticks, magnifiers and coloured acetate. Just come and ask at the Library Office. Let us know if you would like us to add something.

Printing and Copying

There is a Multi-Functional Device for your use in the 2nd Quad entrance to the Library. It works by way of your University Card. Training and assistance is provided by IT services.

Library Regulations

Please help us to keep the Library a safe, productive, welcoming space by following a few simple rules.

Apart from the Quiet Discussion Zone on the 1st Floor please keep noise to a minimum. Mobile phones must be on silent. Please remember that noise on the stairs and in the Library corridor travels.

Oriel Library is for the use of Oriel students, staff and Fellows only. If you wish to bring a guest into the Library then please contact the Librarian first.

No food is allowed in the Library at any time. Drinks in sealed containers are allowed in the Pantin Library.

Apart from in the Accessibility Zone, you may leave Library books and papers in the Library temporarily. Please fill in a slip recording your name and the date. You may not reserve a desk or leave personal belongings unattended. They will be removed by the Library team.

The Senior Library is to be used as study space only. Please do not touch the books or the objects without consulting the Librarian first. CCTV and an alarm system are in place.

Further Information

Information for visiting readers

The Archives

History of the Library