Image of The Quincentenary Library interior

Using the library

The best way to get to know the library and learn how to make the most of its resources is through a library induction.

You'll be invited to a library induction when you first join the College as a student, but you can arrange another at any time by emailing us at

There's a guide to using the library, also available in hard copy on the reference desk.

Accessing the library

The entrance to the library is on the College's main site, via Library Court. 

To use the library and take out books you'll need your University card with a barcode which you will be given when you join the College. If you lose your access card please contact the Porters’ Lodge to get a replacement.

Finding and borrowing books

You can borrow up to fifteen items from the library for 7 days (undergraduates) or 28 days (postgraduates, Fellows and staff). These books will autorenew until the end of the academic year unless recalled by another user.

The online catalogue for the University is called iDiscover. This can be accessed from the computers in the library or from the University website.

The library uses the Bliss Classification System: the alphabetical classmarks are arranged clockwise down through the library, starting with A in the top corner of the building and finishing with Z on the ground floor. You'll find notices next to the shelves explaining how the system works.

Working in the library

Please be considerate of others and follow the library rules, which you can also find on the Reference Desk in the Library Foyer.

You can bring in your own laptop computer to work on in the library, there are plenty of powerpoints available as well as internet access points.

Library access for non-students

If you're a former student you may use the library after contacting the librarian at You can get a temporary access card from the Porters' Lodge, but you won't be able to borrow any items.

If you're a member of another College you won't be allowed general access to the library or borrowing rights but you can make an appointment with the librarian to consult one of our items.

Members of the public aren't allowed general access to the library, but if you'd like to visit you can make an appointment by contacting the librarian.

If you have any other questions about using the library take a look at our frequently asked questions page, or speak to one of the library staff.

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