The Library

The Howard Piper Library is one of the largest college libraries in Oxford. The space and collection grew out of a need to support the original women of St Hugh’s, who weren’t allowed to access the all-male Bodleian libraries. This is further testament to St Hugh’s College legacy of ensuring equal access for all its students. You can read more about these efforts here.

It may be a bit confusing at first, trying to figure out where to go between the College and University Libraries! Each College has its own library which is exclusive to its College members, and the University has a plethora of buildings and resources available to all students. This collection of libraries is called the Bodleian Libraries. Exploring these exquisite buildings can be a great source of joy, and many Oxford students attempt to visit all the Bodleian library facilities prior to graduation.

St Hugh’s is particularly lucky to have a Bodleian library onsite: the K B Chen China Centre Library. This is a convenient location for you to request Bodleian online and physical resources. These references cannot be read outside a Bodleian library.

The St Hugh’s Library is open to all current students and staff of St Hugh’s College and is accessible 24 hours a day. The Library holds a wonderful collection of subject-specific textbooks, popular fiction, current magazines, and a comprehensive DVD collection. If you need a textbook for a taught course, check the extensive collection on SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online), which will show you both the Bodleian and College holdings. If the St Hugh’s Library does not have your textbook, you can request that a copy be bought:

The Library and Archives also house a special rare books collection. You can find more information about that here. The College Archive contains a range of material on the history of the College – to find out more, see here. You are also welcome to contact the College Archivist directly:

Please visit the Library and say hello; the friendly staff are always happy to help you! You can also reach the librarians by email: The Library Office is open Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 12.30pm and 1.00pm to 5.00pm.