The Library today
The library continues to evolve to meet the needs of its members and collections, with the 20th century seeing the greatest changes.
The Hodgson Room was built above the cloisters to house a 1912 donation. This links the medieval library to the space in the 18th-century Fellows’ Building, which held the undergraduate library in the 1930-60s. The Hodgson Room, now known as the Catalogue Room, is a vital space in the Library proper, housing the card catalogue, SOLO search PCs, and the Library Copier.
In the last two decades of the 20th century, the ground floor rooms under the medieval library were incorporated into the Library to create more space for books and readers. A room at the western end of the original library (once used as the 'Italian Room' to house an 18th century donation) was reincorporated into the Library. A former residential room, adjacent to the main entrance, was adopted as the Library Office.
All this means the medieval space is part of a popular 24/7 library housing thousands of volumes on open shelves. To maintain this working library and preserve the Special Collections, the early printed books were moved into air-conditioned basement strong rooms in the 1970s. They are consulted there alongside the archives and the manuscripts.
The Library of the future
Work is underway on the Spencer Building, which will house a new Special Collections Centre. Connecting with the original library, it will also provide space for the modern collections, and readers. Once available, this new building will enable the Library to release back to general college use the ground floor rooms it currently occupies, as well as the space in the Fellows' Building, and the Library Office set of rooms.
To read architects Clare Wright and Kirsty Shankland's article about the Special Collections Centre project, published in the December 2020 issue of the Sundial, click here.
- The Library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in the Sixteenth Century, Liddell
- The Medieval Manuscripts of Corpus Christi College, Oxford,
- Library History, Jonathan Bengtson A summary of library history by a former library staff member
Publications on College history
- Corpus Christi College, Oxford: A History by Thomas Charles-Edwards and Julian Reid (Oxford, 2017)
- The history of Corpus Christi College, with lists of its members by Thomas Fowler (Oxford, 1893)
- The early history of Corpus Christi College, Oxford by J.G. Milne (Oxford 1946)
- Corpuscles: a history of Corpus Christi College, Oxford in the twentieth century, written by its members, edited by Brian Harrison (Oxford 1994)
- The Fox, the Bees and the Pelican: Some worthies and noteworthies of Corpus Christi College, Oxford by Richard Symonds (Oxford, 2002)
- Daring to be wise: More worthies and noteworthies of Corpus Christi College, Oxford by Richard Symonds (Oxford, 2004)
- Raising the ladder: Further worthies and noteworthies of Corpus Christi College, Oxford by Richard Symonds, edited by Stephen Harrison (Oxford 2008)
Biographical details of Corpus members
- Biographical register 1880-1974 Corpus Christi College, Oxford by PA Hunt and NA Flanagan (Oxford, 1988)
- Supplement to the Biographical Register 1974-1991 Corpus Christi College, Oxford by A Nockels (Oxford, 1992)
- Alumni Oxonienses: the members of the University of Oxford, 1500-1714 by Joseph Foster (Oxford, 1891-2)
- Alumni Oxonienses: the members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886 by Joseph Foster (Oxford, 1887-8)
Some Corpus publications can be purchased via the Lodge.