Celebrating National Libraries Day – Behind the Scenes at Nuffield College Library: Library Treasures!

For our final blog post in the series “Behind the Scenes at Nuffield College Library” we wanted to highlight some of the Library’s “treasures” ie our unique and valuable resources and collections.

Firstly, from the Lord Nuffield collection in our archives, item 13/5, William Morris, Lord Nuffield’s Grant of Arms. In 1934 he was made Baron Nuffield and in 1938, Viscount Nuffield “for public and philanthropic services”. For more on Lord Nuffield’s donations, read “Lord Nuffield : a philanthropic legacy” published last year by the College. You can find it here on SOLO.

Lord Nuffield

Next, an example of one of the many pamphlets in our extensive Party Political History collection which covers the latter half of the 20th century and the entire political spectrum. This one comes from the Labour Party Collection PP Lab 1.

Thatcher's Britain

The private Library of the socialist, Fabian, biographer (and murder-mystery writer!) G D H Cole formed the basis of Nuffield College Library. He had many areas of interest which you can read about in his book “Persons and periods”

One of these interests was the English journalist, pamphleteer and radical, William Cobbett. As well as our collection of Cobbett’s writings and correspondence, we have a series of prints by the contemporary cartoonist James Gillray on display in the Current Affairs Room depicting scenes from Cobbett’s life. The full handlist of papers can be found here.


Cole also amassed a collection of maps and geographical material. This title page and illustration comes from “An historical account of the British trade over the Caspian Sea” by the traveller and philanthropist, Jonas Hanway and is kept in the Librarian’s office at shelfmark Reserve qHF 479.H:

Caspian crop

Less visually appealing, but of great significance in the history of the 20th century is our League of Nations collection, housed in the Library Extension at the shelfmark X LN – an exhaustive collection of treaties, documents and minutes of meetings. For more on the League of Nations, see the papers of former Warden Alexander Loveday who was Director of the Financial Section and Economic Intelligence Service.


Finally, the most important resource in the Library – staff!

L-R Helen Matthews, Niamh Delaney, Tula Miller, Liz Martin, Tessa Richards, Ed Smithson, Clare Kavanagh

L-R Helen Matthews, Niamh Delaney, Tula Miller, Liz Martin, Tessa Richards, Ed Smithson, Clare Kavanagh


About Nuffield College Library

We are a social sciences library serving Nuffield College and the University of Oxford
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s