Early Printed Books
The Library’s historical book collections fall into two categories. Firstly, there is a large collection of research material that the library has accumulated over the last several hundred years. The collection is particularly strong in classics, philosophy, theology and church history, tracts and proclamations, ecclesiastical law, early medicine and British regional history. The majority of these books can be found in the Short Title Catalogue.
The second collection is formed from large benefactions of rare and antique books in many different subjects, including many rare items of bibliographic interest.
As of March 2010, about 50% of our antiquarian monograph material has been catalogued onto OLIS, the University’s union catalogue. For other material an author-indexed card catalogue in the Library must be searched. Please see below for access details.
The Library is rich in medieval and post-medieval manuscripts. Those acquired by the mid-19th century are described in H.O. Coxe, Catalogus Codicum MSS Collegii Reginensis (Oxford, 1852), reprinted as Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Oxford Colleges (East Ardesley, 1972). The collection is particularly strong in theology, heraldry, medieval bindings, post-medieval antiquarian collections, and the history of the College and University. All enquires for further information or requests to consult the manuscript collections should be directed to the Librarian email@example.com as far in advance as possible, due to the fact that facilities for visiting scholars are limited.
A new catalogue of the medieval manuscripts was mounted on this website in early 2004.
In the eighteenth century the Library was given two significant medical collections that immediately made the Queen’s medical collections among the largest in the University. The interest in both these collections is that they are the individual libraries of particular physicians, Sir John Floyer (1649-1734) and Theophilus Metcalfe (1690-1757). Floyer’s books are very much the working library of a practising doctor, Metcalfe’s reflect his more academic and bibliophile tastes, but as a combined collection they provide a unique insight into the history of medical practice and training spanning almost 200 years.
The collections, which include some manuscripts as well as printed books, were catalogued in 2003 thanks to a generous grant from the Wellcome Trust. More information about the project, along with links to the catalogues, is available on the Wellcome Trust Project page.
The Peet Library is a specialist collection of Egyptology material which is maintained and updated by the Queen’s College Library. It was donated by Sir Alan Gardiner in memory of Thomas Eric Peet (1882-1934).
Access to Special Collections
Access to the Library’s special collections is strictly monitored. Please contact the Librarian firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 01865 279130, regarding requests to view material or for details on photography or microfilming. Facilities for visiting scholars are limited. All requests for appointments to read the special collections must be made as far in advance as possible.
Please note that as the result of a refurbishment project The Queen’s College Library will be closed completely to all readers from Friday 14 June 2013. It is intended that parts of the collection will be open again for consultation towards the end of October 2013 but all manuscripts and books from the Upper Library (an example of an Upper Library shelfmark is 53.C.6) will remain inaccessible to readers until the end of January 2014. Please e-mail email@example.com for further information and keep up to date with developments via our website or Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Peet Library is open to all students of Egyptology in the University and anyone else who can prove that access to the collection will be beneficial to their studies. In order to gain access, you must contact the Professor of Egyptology, firstname.lastname@example.org. The library is situated in two rooms of the Front Quad of the College and like the Main Library is accessed by a card swipe system. Peet users who are not members of Queen’s may use the Peet Library between 7 am and 11:45 pm and must report to the Lodge on arrival. Members of Queen’s who have Peet membership can access the library 24 hours a day.
The care of the special collections is a time consuming and labour intensive activity. The College is a member of the Oxford Conservation Consortium, whose skilled staff repair and box damaged or fragile items and offer invaluable advice and guidance on preservation issues. Every three years a book cleaning project in the Upper Library takes place under their supervision.