Collections and resources at the Taylor Institution Library

A detail of a rare book - it is open half way though with dark calligraphy writing on the page

From 29 July, a maintenance project will be taking place in the Taylor Institution Library basement for approximately 6 weeks. During this time, parts of the basement will be closed from 5–7pm, and there will be no access at any time to the central section of the Slavonic and Modern Greek research collections for the duration of the project. The library will also be closed on Saturday 3 August, Saturday 10 August and Saturday 17 August. Ahead of the move, there may be some disruption in the basement as staff prepare the area. If you have any queries, please contact the Librarian-in-Charge, Joanne Ferrari (, or Taylor Enquiries (



The Taylor Institution Library’s collections can be searched in SOLO, Oxford University’s online library catalogue.

The Taylorian Library has a Teaching Collection and a Research Collection. You can find out more about how these are arranged in the library. The library’s collections can also be divided into the West European Collections and the East European Collections.


The Research Collection comprises about 700,000 volumes and is remarkable both for its content and range. Most of the stock is available in reading rooms immediately or can be delivered from offsite storage within 24 hours. The Research Collection includes materials for the study of French, German, Italian, Modern Greek, Russian and other Slavonic languages, Spanish and Portuguese (including Latin American) and Linguistics. Several smaller language fields such as Celtic, Yiddish, Catalan and Romanian are also represented.


The Teaching Collection comprises about 50,000 volumes, intended primarily for use by undergraduates studying Modern Languages at the University. Much of this collection is duplicated in the Research Collection.

The Film Studies collection is housed within the Teaching Collection.


The West European collections focus on the languages and literatures of Western Europe (other than English), and Linguistics, Film Studies and Women's Studies.  

In addition to literary texts, often in numerous editions, the collection includes critical studies, reference books, bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, linguistic atlases, and memoirs. Materials on palaeography, bibliography, and the problems ancillary to foreign book production in the modern period are also held. Most items may be borrowed.

The Linguistics Collection is housed within the Research Collection.  

We hold 850 – 900 (approx.) periodical titles. These include original literary journals dating from the 18th century onwards, and many current subscriptions covering literary criticism and original writing. 


The Taylor's Slavonic & Modern Greek collections comprise around 100,000 volumes. They focus on the languages, literatures and, to a lesser degree, history and culture of Eastern Europe. They are housed in the Taylor's Slavonic Reading Room, the Teaching Collection and the Basement.

The Teaching Collection includes 8,000 volumes primarily for the use of undergraduates studying Russian and other Slavonic languages and literature at the University, and a selection of texts for undergraduates studying Modern Greek.


The library’s Film Studies collections focus primarily on the history of European cinema and on theoretical work in film aesthetics. The Film Studies book collection is an integrated collection for both teaching and research, housed in the Teaching Collection part of the library, together with a range of film journals and a growing collection of over 4,350 films. The films are mostly in DVD format, with some VHS cassettes and a small number of Blu-ray discs. As well as European cinema, the film collection includes other world cinemas, such as Latin America and Asia.

Find out more about the Bodleian Libraries Film Studies collections.


The library holds a wide variety of special collections material, such as the Enlightenment collection in the Voltaire Room. Our special collections include rare books and periodicals, manuscripts and art and architecture collections. More information is available on the library’s special collections guide

If you would like to consult special collections material during your visit to the library, please place your request in person at the Enquiry Desk, or by emailing with details.


Please contact your subject librarian before bringing any donations to the library. We would prefer not to take any donations at this time.


You can also browse our subject guides for Modern Languages, created by your specialist librarians to help you make the most of the library resources in your area.