Special Collections

The special collections are available to postgraduate researchers and academic staff; they are unavailable for undergraduates. All are catalogued on SOLO.   For information about central Bodleian Special Collections visit the page on the main Bodleian Library website.

The Viner collection

The Viner collection contains the complete working library of Charles Viner (1678-1756), author of Viner's Abridgement and founder of the Vinerian Chair of English Law in the University. It is a rare example of an intact eighteenth century law library. He was fortunate that the fame of his benefaction was ensured by the appointment of Sir William Blackstone as the first holder of the post.

Viner left his library (mostly law books) to the Radcliffe Library at the University. The collection was incorporated in the Bodleian Library in 1860. It was sorted and handlisted in 1914. In 1964 the collection was moved to the newly built Bodleian Law Library where it is still housed. Please contact the library in advance if you wish to consult a Viner volume - particularly if your visit will be in the evening or during the weekend opening hours

The library taken over from the Radcliffe Library consisted of 542 volumes and 38 manuscript items. The latter are now housed in the Bodleian Library separately from the rest of the collection. Many volumes carry Viner's distinctive signature and annotations in his own hand. 97 volumes are duplicate copies of Viner's Abridgement. The collection is of interest as an extant personal law library form the mid-eighteenth century. It is still regularly used by legal and historical scholars.

The Kahn-Freund collection

The Kahn-Freund collection contains the books on labour law from the library of Sir Otto Kahn-Freund (1900-1979), former Professor of Comparative Law in the University. This augments the holdings of a subject in which the library has traditionally been strong. It is shelved on the Ground Floor of the Library.

Bandar collection of Islamic law

In 2000 HRH Prince Bandar Salman Al-Saud generously donated 360 books to the Bodleian Law Library. The books, in Arabic, mainly focus on international commercial law, including the international law governing the arbitration of disputes between countries, world trade, company law, bankruptcy, employment law, commercial law, banking and leasing; some deal with constitutional law, criminal law and civil law. Some books are comparative studies of aspects of law in two or more states. A small number treat the relationship of modern law with Islamic law (shariah). Some focus on Saudi Arabian law.

They are shelved on the First Floor of the Bodleian Law Library immediately after the Islamic Law collection (which is made up of books about Islamic law in European languages). (SOLO will reveal works of interest kept in the Islamic Studies Library and other Bodleian Libraries. Those works in Arabic held in the Bodleian Bookstacks can be ordered to the Law Library via SOLO.)

OIPRC Collection

The Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre was established at St Peter's College in 1990 by Professor Peter Hayward, Emeritus Fellow at St Peter's College. In 2008 it became a Centre of the Faculty of Law. In the same year the Centre's library, a collection of journals, monographs and offprints on intellectual property law, came to the Law Library. Selected titles have been moved to the Ground Floor of the Law Library, as a discrete collection.

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