Collections and resources at the Music Faculty Library

A student sitting in front of a keyboard hooked up to a computer


The Music Faculty Library provides for the borrowing needs of students (both undergraduate and graduate), researchers and senior members. It supports both taught Music courses and research by duplicating many of the core books and journals that are available for reference in the Bodleian Library. Read our Music collection policy (PDF).

The library’s present collection has evolved from the old Music Students’ Library and has benefitted over the years from donations of the personal collections of previous Music professors and others. The present library houses substantial collections of books, printed music and audio-visual materials, supplemented by the Bodleian Libraries’ extensive collections of electronic books, journals and online subscriptions. Most of the library’s stock is for borrowing

Learn more about how to locate material in the MFL. New books are displayed on shelves near to the issue desk on the ground floor.

The music collections of the Bodleian Library are consulted in the Weston Library. For information on locating the Bodleian's music materials, see our guide to music finding aids.


We have a collection of DVDs, primarily of opera performances, on open access on the ground floor. We offer facilities for watching DVDs in the audio-visual resources room on the top floor. It is not necessary to book the room, but please ask staff at the circulation desk for headphones and remote controls before beginning a viewing. A small number of video recordings remain in VHS format only. Members of the University may borrow DVDs.


The library has a large collection of sound recordings in both CD and LP formats, primarily covering music of the Western classical tradition but also including jazz, popular music and world music. CDs are on open access and can be found on the lower ground floor arranged, for the most part, in alphabetical order by principal composer. Our extensive collection of opera CDs is shelved separately from the main sequence, in the Library Mac Lab, along with the Jazz, Popular music and World music recordings. You can listen to the CDs in the library using the listening equipment provided. Members of the University may borrow CDs.

Most of our extensive LP collection is accessible via the card catalogue.


The Bodleian Libraries’ extensive collections of music on microfilm are now concentrated in the Weston Library. Some are included in SOLO but many are not. Visit our guide to the microfilm collections for more information.

If you need access to a music manuscript from another library which you cannot find digitally, ask the Music Subject Librarian, in case he can point you to a microfilm surrogate.


If you would like to donate a book to the MFL or central Bodleian collections, please contact the Music Subject Librarian or the Deputy Music Librarian. In general, we are very pleased to receive individual titles, but we reserve the right to dispose of donated books should they no longer be required. We will normally ask whether you would like us to return or try to find alternative locations for surplus materials. Large donations will not be taken without prior consultation.

Subject guides

The Bodleian Libraries offer subject guides which give more detailed help on locating physical and online resources relevant to your study or research.