Summer vacation opening hours for external readers

From Monday the 18th of June, the Library’s opening hours for external readers will change – please see below for details.

NB, members of Nuffield College will continue to have 24×7 access of course! Library staff will usually be in the office on the 1st floor. If you need anything, come and see us, call 01865 278550 or email

Monday 18th June – Tuesday 31st July 2018

Monday-Friday 13:30 – 17:30*

Wednesday 1 August – Friday 31 August


Monday 3 September until further notice:

Monday-Friday 13:30 – 17:30*

*Potential archive readers: access is usually still possible during the summer. Please email us with your requested dates and we will get back to you.


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Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the opening of Nuffield College

6th June 1958 marked the long awaited official opening of the newest Oxford College when HRH the Duke of Edinburgh awarded Nuffield College its Royal Charter.  There is an exhibition in the Library where you can see the following images and more, celebrating this special occasion.

The Duke of Edinburgh arrived in Oxford by Royal Navy helicopter and landed in Merton Fields.

HRH arriving at Merton Fields

HRH the Duke of Edinburgh arriving at Merton Fields, Nuffield College papers, A3/4/4

After a procession and a tour through the College (which was still partly under construction), the Duke of Edinburgh attended a luncheon at which he presented the Royal Charter and made a speech, which was replied to by the Warden, Norman Chester.  These speeches were recorded and are now available to listen to on application to the Library.  Alternatively, the text is available here: Speeches by HRH Duke of Edinburgh and Norman Chester.

HRH and Chester in procession

Norman Chester, Warden, and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh lead the procession, Nuffield College Papers, A3/4/13

luncheon menu

Luncheon menu, Lord Nuffield archive collection, 12/7

The Royal Charter and Statutes confirmed the character of College. The main purpose continues to be that defined by Lord Nuffield when he established the College. Article 3 (c) of the Charter defines it as follows: “To provide for men and women who are members of Our University of Oxford a College for post-graduate work especially in connexion with the study of social (including economic and political) problems and also for any other post-graduate research or work provided that no member of the College or any candidate for membership shall be subject to any test of a religious, political or racial character” (Nuffield College Annual Report 1957-8).

HRH chatting to workmen

HRH the Duke of Edinburgh chatting to workmen, Nuffield College papers, A3/4/25

Lord Nuffield, HRH, Chester and others

Norman Chester, Lord Nuffield and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, Nuffield College papers, A3/4/9

June 6th marked a most important stage in the development of Nuffield College as it achieved the status of an independent College in the University and was now fully responsible for the management of its own affairs and finances.  The College could now also matriculate and take full responsibility for Students.

The major parts of the College buildings were complete, or within sight of completion, allowing it to become residential at the beginning of Michaelmas Term 1958, the Library had begun to move into the Tower in the August.  Nuffield College was thus able to provide fuller facilities for Fellows and Students.

1958 college members

1958 College members, Nuffield College papers, A9/4

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A Fourth Week refresher!

Welcome to 4th Week! Time flies at Oxford, but we hope you are all settling in and enjoying being a part of Nuffield College.

Firstly, a big thank you to everyone who came along to the Library Induction in 0th Week – it was lovely to meet so many of you, and we hope you found it useful. However, we know that some of you were unable to attend and are that you are bombarded with information at the beginning of term, so we’d like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few of the less obvious services available to support your research:

Book requests: We’ve had lots of book requests so far this term, but we’re always happy to receive more! If there is something you need for your studies that we don’t have, and you think would be a valuable addition to the Nuffield collection, please fill in the form on the website:


Inter-library loans: This is another great way of getting hold of hard to find items. If the item you want cannot be sourced in Oxford, we can request an inter library loan (ILL) on your behalf. Simply email and we will do our best to track it down! The college is willing to pay for 10 ILLs per academic year per member, though if you think you might need more than that, please email us so that we can discuss overall provision for your research needs.

Bodleian iSkills: iskillsThe Bodleian runs a wide range of study skills and research methods courses which are FREE. These great sessions on topics ranging from reference management to research data management can help you learn a new skill or refresh your existing skills before embarking on the next stage of your research. Check out the programme of forthcoming sessions here. Materials from the courses are available online, so if you need a quick refresher, check the libguide, or the specific Social Sciences Research & Skills Training page.

Nuffield Library Research Digest: Clare curates a brilliant monthly research digest, which she circulates by email to college members. It covers the latest research, news, and events from across the social sciences, and also highlights recent library acquisitions. To sign up to receive the next issue, please email

Reciprocal borrowing rights: Alongside Nuffield library, the Bodleian, SSL and department libraries, Nuffield members can also use St Antony’s College library. This is part of a reciprocal agreement between the two colleges: you can borrow up to 3 items for a loan period of 1 week so bear it in mind when you are searching for hard to find items. Please email or phone 01865 274480 if you wish to use the library for study or to borrow from their collection.

Library social media: Last but not least, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and share your tags with us. As well as posting about news, current research and events, the library shares links to college members’ work and publications – so if you have any academic output (articles, book chapters, blog posts, conference presentations etc.) that you want us to share, just let us know!

As ever, if you have any queries, comments or suggestions, please get in touch: chat to us in the library, write us a message on the whiteboard, contact us on social media, or email us. We’re always happy to help.

Tessa, Clare, Ed, and Diana

P.S. If you’re new to Oxford, don’t forget our Oxford collection: guidebooks, history books, and Oxford-related fiction that will help you to get to know the city and its surroundings a little better. Found in the Current Affairs room, it will hopefully inspire you to embark on some non-work related adventures!

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Data and Stata at Nuffield

Working with data is a huge part of the social sciences and something that almost every member of Nuffield does at some stage in their research. Here are a few pointers to help you get started on your data journey here in Oxford.

Bodleian Data Librarybdl

The Bodleian Data Library provides a wide range of research data services for Oxford University students and researchers, with a focus on the social sciences. The services offered include:

  • help to find, access and use social science statistics and data;
  • advice on how to access restricted and sensitive datasets which may not be networked;
  • a data brokering and clearing house service for the acquisition of datasets by research centres;
  • consultancy and training opportunities;
  • alerts to new data sources.

Visit their website to learn more.

Research Data Oxford

With advice on everything from planning your data use, to tools that can help you organise and share your data, to advice on depositing your data in ORA-data, Research Data Oxford is a great website that should be your first port of call for any research data management (RDM) queries.

Nuffield College Library

The library holds a wide range of resources on data use, data management, and support resources for data tools. These can all be found by searching SOLO, and the majority are located in the library basement.

Stata Journal and mailing list

Stata is an integrated statistical software package used by many academics, particularly those in the fields of economics, sociology and politics. Its range of capabilities includes simulations, statistical analysis, custom programming, and publication-ready graphics. Stata is not the only software for this purpose: R and SPSS are among the alternatives, but Stata’s power, flexibility and speed, along with its regular updates, make it a popular choice amongst researchers.

A new version of Stata is released roughly every two years. For each release up until and including version 10, Nuffield College Library has a user’s guide and reference manuals: those copies with a shelf mark of ‘Safe’ are stored in closed access so please ask for them at the enquiry desk. Manuals for version 11 onward are available as PDFs within the software, or are available to download from the Stata website.

Articles about the use of Stata and new user-written commands are published in the quarterly peer-reviewed Stata Journal (print copies are found in the Cole Room at Per S). PDF copies of the journal can also be accessed by Nuffield students and fellows: please email to be added to our internal Stata email list.

Access to Stata will have been provided to you by your department – for help from Oxford IT Services, please follow this link.


If you have questions about any aspect of data, or library resources relating to data, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will be happy to help:

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It’s the long vacation and all loans to Nuffield College members are due back on Monday of 10th week (26/06/17)

  • Please return ALL your books.
  • We will then renew your membership as appropriate for next year.
  • You can re-issue any books that you still need.
  • Enjoy the summer!

Lord Nuffield enjoying a cruise!

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Who uses the archives and why?

Nuffield College Library has a wide variety of archive collections covering a multitude of subjects and an extensive chronology.  From the well-known and well used collections of G.D.H. Cole, Frederick Lindemann (Lord Cherwell), William Cobbett (1762-1835), Nuffield College Social Reconstruction Survey (1941-1955) and Alexander Loveday to some of the lesser known African Trade Unions (1949-1969), Lord Gainford (Joseph Pease, 1860-1943), Lord Mottistone (John Edward Bernard Seely, 1868-1947), Nuffield Trust for the Special Areas (1936-1962) & Francis Ysidro Edgeworth (1845-1926); the collections are truly diverse.

This is also true of the many visitors who come each year to use the archives, along with their subjects of research. Some are academics from close to home such as the London School of Economics and Political Science and Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Exeter, York & London, while others come from academic institutions in Australia, Japan, Italy and the USA. They are investigating matters ranging from the social study of refugee academics in Britain from 1933 to 1941; Albert Einstein’s annual visits to Oxford between 1931 and 1933; tank/armoured vehicle development during World War One; the ‘Fifth Column’ scare in Britain in World War Two; G.D.H. Cole’s relations with Continental socialists before 1930; the history of recycling during World War Two; the history of the political pamphlets of the Socialist Workers Party and its predecessor organisations; corporatism, productivism and economic rationalisation in Great Britain in the first half of the 20th Century; Swing riots in Hampshire in 1830 to name but a few.

The archive collections have also been used in various exhibitions and seminars:

Others visitors are members of the public who are researching their own specific area of interest, such as Reverend David Davies’ dealings with Farmer Hewett in the early 1790s, William Cobbett’s farming and landscape changes on his Botley estates in the early 1800s, the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle to personal family history.

Recently, we were also very excited to welcome some researchers who wanted to look at one of the collections in preparation for a film which begins shooting soon.  More details to follow as they are openly available…..

Some of our researchers have gone on to publish books which specifically refer to and/or acknowledge the archive collections they have used at Nuffield.  These include:

A very recent acquisition has been “The Prof, Churchill and science at war” by Professor Russell W. Burns (Archives.Books.B). Professor Burns used the Cherwell archive extensively during his research into the life of Frederick A Lindemann and he was an extremely courteous and cheerful visitor. His book looks at the major technological advances of the Second World War, thanks largely in part to Lindemann’s influence with Churchill and their desire to use science as a means to secure victory.  His book was sadly published posthumously but carries a lovely acknowledgement “Researching in the library of Nuffield College was ever a pleasure thanks to the splendid assistance provided by the Librarian, Elizabeth Martin, and her assistants“.

The Prof, Churchill and science at war

Lord Cherwell archive, Archives.Books.B

We have had some other lovely feedback from archive visitors, including “Thanks again for all your help, I must say one of the best archives experiences I’ve had!

As an author, I find some academic archives and libraries bureaucratic, obstructive, and downright stuffy. The opposite can be said of the Nuffield. It was helpful, welcoming and accessible

The service and quality of the archives could not have been improved. All excellent. I have been unreservedly pleased with my dealings with the Nuffield College Library archive services. A model in every respect

The staff were timely, professional, knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. I couldn’t have asked for a more amenable environment to do research

Fantastic service, especially for an external user. Very impressed indeed on all levels: depth of information on web site, promptness of response from staff, quality of materials and knowledge of staff. Thank you!

I am writing to say how impressed I am with Nuffield College Library Archives….. incredibly helpful, knowledgeable, friendly and diligent. I’ve made use of many archives large and small whilst researching for my PhD and I have to say that Nuffield is consistently one of the absolute most helpful archives and I always really appreciate your staff’s brilliant help

For more information or to arrange a visit to any of the collections please visit our archive page or contact 

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