Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Special collections (early printed books, manuscripts and archives)

All readers wishing to consult items from the special collections (early printed books, manuscripts and archives) must email or write in advance to request an appointment (please read the information below and the rules governing access before contacting us). Please note these appointments are hosted away from the Library.   Facilities for visiting scholars are limited, and appointments are dependent on staff availability, and so should be requested as early as possible.  We recommend that appointments for the long vacation (June-September) should be sought at least 8 weeks in advance 

Applications for admission

  • Admission only via appointments made in advance

  • Requests for appointments must be made in writing (or via email) in advance for named individuals, explaining why access is required

  • Graduate and undergraduate students must supply, in advance, a letter on headed paper from their supervisor or other appropriate referee confirming access to the material is necessary for their studies (academics are requested to bring a letter of introduction with them)

  • Applications should include information about the material to be consulted (if possible, provide shelfmarks or call numbers for early printed books, and catalogue numbers for manuscripts - see Catalogues and collections)

  • If material is available elsewhere and/or in surrogate form (e.g. digital, microfilm etc.) please explain why access to the physical item at Corpus is required.

  • Potential readers should check the appointment information below to ensure they have noted advertised closures, and are requesting appointments on appropriate days.

  • If granted an appointment, readers must also ensure they read the guidance below On the day of the appointment (particularly regarding the ID required).

  • Corpus Christi College reserves the right not to admit readers if they do not satisfy the registration procedure.

  • Please note that information regarding appointments and research requests will be collected and processed according to the General Data Protection Regulation and associated data protection legislation.

Appointment times - please read all the guidance on this page before contacting the relevant department

Early Printed Books

Wednesday - Friday
10 am to 12.45 pm
2.15 pm to 4.45 pm

Reader spaces are limited, and access depends on staff availability.  Please wait for confirmation of appointment(s) before making travel arrangements.

Appointments will not be possible 28 August to 18 September 2019 inclusive.


Manuscripts and Archives

Tuesday 9.30 am to 1 pm 2.30 pm to 4.45 pm
Wednesday 10 am to 1 pm 2.15 pm to 4.45 pm

Please note the Archives staff are only at Corpus Mondays - Wednesday, and so are not in College to answer enquiries, make or supervise appointments, pursue correspondence etc. on any other day. 

Reader spaces are limited, and access depends on staff availability.  Please wait for confirmation of appointment(s) before making travel arrangements.  Appointments will not be possible 19-26 August inclusive.


Library and Archive closures - a general note:

The College is closed between Christmas and New Year, and usually over the four day Easter weekend, which means the Library and Archives are not available to any readers during those periods. In addition, the Library is usually closed for at least two weeks in August for stock checks and maintenance work.

On the day of the appointment

  • Please arrive punctually for your appointment (and arrange a suitable start time if travelling any distance).

  • Photographic identification, proof of signature and proof of residential address will be required on the day of your appointment:

    • Passport, national/state ID card or driving licence are preferred.

    • Alternative ID, such as British Library Reader Pass or County Archive Research Network (CARN readers’ ticket) will only be accepted with additional proof of permanent address.

    • Please note: Institutional ID, including Oxford University Cards or Bodleian Cards, is NOT sufficient.

  • The ID provided and the registration form will be scanned, and the copies kept on a secure server.

  • Access cannot be granted until the registration form is completed, your ID confirmed and scanned.

  • Academics are asked to bring a letter of introduction with them.


  • Access to the underground strong rooms, where the special collections are stored and consulted, is via a flight of stairs (no lift is available).  Please let staff know in advance if this is likely to cause you any difficulties.

  • Coats and bags cannot be taken in the reading room; lockers are provided.  The College does not accept responsibility for any item or personal belongings brought onto the site.

  • Desk space is restricted (there are only two reader spaces).

  • Staff have the discretion not to produce any book, manuscript or other object that they decide is too fragile, too damaged or in any other way unfit for consultation.

Rules governing usage

  • Readers are expected at all times to use proper book supports provided by staff.

  • The use of pens to take notes is strictly prohibited. Only pencils may be used.

  • No food (including sweets and chewing gum) and no drink (including water).

  • Avoid touching the leaves, except when turning them.

  • Nothing may be placed on the book except a piece of blank paper used to follow a written text.

  • Do not write or make marks in any book, manuscript or document.

  • Do not make tracings or rubbings without permission.

  • Photocopying is strictly prohibited.

  • If you wish to take your own digital images for private research please ask the Archivist or Librarian supervising you on the day.  Staff reserve the right to refuse requests (flash photography is never permitted).

  • Information about ordering professional images and the use of such images in published works can be found on the web pages on Imaging services

  • It is often possible to use a laptop (however, access to a power point cannot be guaranteed).

Data protection

  • Registration information will be used to verify appointments, to record collection usage, for statistical purposes and for the identification or prevention of criminal activity; it will be kept indefinitely.

  • The reading room is covered by CCTV; images are viewable by authorised individuals, and the footage recorded and kept for approximately 6 weeks.

  • Information will be collected and processed according to the General Data Protection Regulation and associated data protection legislation.

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