The Library at Corpus Christi dates to the foundation of the College by Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester, in 1517. The original first-floor Library (the old library) is still in use today, and contains book presses (bookcases) dating from the late 16th/early 17th centuries. The modern library, housed in the original library building and its later additions, is available on a reference basis 24 hours a day to current members of the College.
Like most college libraries, Corpus Library offers collections and services tailored to the needs of the members of our own college, typically offering long opening hours and generous lending. The modern library collection is particularly strong in English literature and history, philosophy, and Latin and Greek classical language, literature and history, but also covers all the undergraduate courses taught at Corpus. The Library is at the heart of the College and is central to an institution dedicated to learning and research. Access is resticted to authorised readers. Non-members wishing to consult items from our various collections, including modern books, should consult the Visiting Readers web pages.
The Library's collection of early printed books and manuscripts was largely assembled in the first 170 years after the foundation of the College. With Bishop Fox's insistence on humanist learning influencing the collection, the trilingual library of Latin, Greek and Hebrew texts attracted praise from Erasmus, amongst others. This older collection is now stored separately from the main library in air-conditioned strong rooms, along with the College's Archives. Anyone wishing to find out more about the special collections should consult the Collection and Catalogues . Anyone wishing to arrange to consult items from the special collections should refer to the Visiting Readers web pages.
The College has recently published two descriptive catalogues of its medieval manuscripts (Western and Greek); a thrid volume for the Hebrew manuscripts will follow. See the Collection and Catalogues pages for more information.
Further information can also be found on the Library's history and exhibitions web pages