West European Collections

Taylor Institution Library

The West European collections focus on the languages and literatures of Western Europe (other than English), and also Linguistics, Film Studies and Women's Studies. They are housed in the Taylor Institution building on St. Giles'. The collections are divided between the Research Collection and the Teaching Collection

Holdings are represented in SOLO (opens in new window), the Bodleian Libraries' online catalogue. 

A detailed description of the Library's history and its historic collections was published in the Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland.  Hrsg. von Bernhard Fabian. Hildesheim: Olms Neue Medien 2003. 

Research Collection

Comprising approximately 500,000 volumes, the collection is remarkable both for its content and range. Housed in a series of Reading Rooms and open-access stack areas, or offsite at the Bodleian Libraries' Book Storage Facility, most of the stock is available immediately or can be delivered within 24 hours.

The Linguistics Collection is housed within the Research Collection.

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.

850-900 (approx.) periodical titles are held. They include original literary journals dating from the 18th century onwards, and also numerous current subscriptions covering literary criticism as well as original writing. Periodicals may not be borrowed.

The collections are distributed across a variety of reading rooms and open-stack areas, with seating for approximately 100 readers. Wireless access is available.

Access to the library stacks is unrestricted and all readers may fetch their own books. Seating is reserved for Senior members of the Faculties of Medieval and Modern Languages and Linguistics, graduate students and final year undergraduates (Trinity Term only). Much of the collection is available for loan to resident members of the University.

Library staff are on hand to assist readers. The Enquiry Room is adjacent to the Main Reading Room.

Teaching Collection

While the collection's ca. 80,000 volumes are intended primarily for use by undergraduates studying Modern Languages at the University, other readers are welcome. A significant proportion of the Teaching Collection's holdings is duplicated in the Research Collection

The West European Film Studies collection is housed within the Teaching Collection. Borrowing from this collection is restricted to matriculated students of the University.

The Circulation Desk is located within the Teaching Collection. Self-issue is also available.

Special collections

Rare materials are generally housed in closed stacks, either onsite or offsite at the Bodleian Libraries' Book Storage Facility. Onsite items are fetched by library staff upon request; Request forms are available in the Enquiry Room. Offsite items may be requested by readers direct, via SOLO, and and may be collected in the Enquiry Room.

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