SOLO limited functionality 8-11th April

SOLO will have limited functionality this weekend, from 17:00 Friday 8th April to 09:00 Monday the 11th of April.

This means that you will not be able to find the shelfmark (call number) for books using SOLO.

You can search for books using COPAC (the catalogue for UK university libraries)

Go to (this is bookmarked on all the catalogue terminals in the library)

Click on “Main Search”

Enter your search terms and under “Library” at the bottom, select Oxford University:



Search results:


On the left you will see a list of libraries which have a copy. Click on the plus sign to see them all:


Click on Oxford University to see which Oxford libraries have a copy:


Access to electronic journals and ebooks will NOT be affected.

The Self Issue program which lets you borrow books will also be unavailable over the weekend. To borrow books, please fill in the details on the sheet of paper at the circulation desk.

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Easter 2016 vacation opening hours


Nuffield College Library will be closed over Easter as follows:

Thursday 24th March – Tuesday 29th March*

*College members will have usual access during this time.

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From the Library of G.D.H. Cole: Daniel Defoe, William Cobbett & William Morris (National Libraries Day 2016)

You may wonder what the author of Robinson Crusoe and a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood have to do with the social sciences…

The foundation of Nuffield College Library was the personal library of G.D.H. Cole, which the College purchased in 1949. You can read more about this in a previous blog post.

Material which came from G.D.H. Cole can be identified by the Library bookplate & stamp (see the right hand page below) and also by Cole’s personal bookplate (on the left hand page).

COLE bookplate

Cole bookplates




Cole Collection books in locked cases

Most of these books are shelved throughout the library according to their subject, but the works of three authors have been kept together in discrete collections in locked cases in the library office. For National Libraries Day 2016 (Saturday the 6th of February) we have made a display in the Current Affairs Room (1st Floor Lobby) to publicise these collections



More information on Cole’s areas of interest can be found in Persons & Periods, a collection of biographical and bibliographical articles [Nuffield College Library, HN 13.C]. This volume acts as a key to much of the Cole collection and can be found on the tables with the display cases.


G.D.H. Cole 1889-1959


Daniel Defoe c1660-1731


Daniel Defoe c1660-1731

“He wrote as the words came; without elegance, but with directness, force and simplicity. His best

effects depend upon these qualities: he has a supreme naturalness, an ordinariness of phrasing that makes his fancy seem truth, and gets right home to readers.”

– G. D. H. Cole, “Persons & periods : studies” (London : Macmillan, 1938), p.3 [Nuffield College Library, Nuf.Cole]

Although best known as a novelist, Daniel Defoe wrote on a wide variety of subjects. One which captured Cole’s interest was A tour thro’ the whole island of Great Britain published  1724-1726 [Nuffield College Library, Special Defoe 1724]

Rather than being a tourist guidebook, the original edition was written to be a record of the social and economic conditions in various parts of the country:

“It is, then, primarily as a guide to social and economic conditions that Defoe’s Tour is important. It is an invaluable picture of the state of Great Britain about midway between the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688 and the period of the great inventions which we are used to call the ‘Industrial Revolution’.”

– G. D. H. Cole, op. cit p.24

Later editions (published after Defoe’s death) modified the original work and attempted to turn it into a guidebook. There were a further 8 editions published in the 18th century, but it was not re-printed until 1927 when Cole produced a restored edition [Nuffield College Library, DA 620.D]


William Cobbett 1763-1835


William Cobbett 1763-1835

“There are certain Englishmen who, being memorable for much besides, make one think, whenever they come into one’s mind, of England. Not of England as a nation, much less a Great Power, or of England as a political unit, or of England with any other special qualification, but purely and simply of England.”

– G. D. H. Cole, “Persons & periods : studies” (London : Macmillan, 1938), p.143 [Nuffield College Library, Nuf.Cole]

Cobbett was a radical journalist, farmer and, in later life, Member of Parliament for Oldham.  G.D.H. Cole wrote a full length biography The life of William Cobbett [Nuffield College Library, Special Cobbett 1924.LIF]

Cole felt that the book which best reflected Cobbett the man was his Rural rides [Nuffield College Library, Special Cobbett 1830.RUR] an account of his travels throughout southern England (see the “Map of Cobbett Country”) with (to quote the book’s subtitle) “Economical and Political Observations relative to matters applicable to, and illustrated by, the State of those Counties respectively” This was originally serialised in Cobbett’s Political Register, a newspaper which he published weekly from 1802, to his death in 1835.

“…no book was ever written that was more England’s own book, getting the smell and feel and look of the English country and the English country people down in print, so that the reader can smell and feel and see as well as Cobbett. Usually I set no store by first editions; but my first edition of Rural Rides always seems to have a country smell. Perhaps that is because it is a little mouldy.”

– G. D. H. Cole, op. cit p.148

In the display case in the Library you can see Cole’s first edition. We have checked and it smells fine to us.

Also – look around the Current Affairs room for episodes from Cobbett’s life illustrated by the satirical cartoonist James Gillray.



William Morris 1834-1896


Strawberry Thief by William Morris

William Morris is possibly best known to many as an English textile designer, the Strawberry Thief being among his most famous designs (see also the modern interpretation by Jeremy Deller in the College Buttery). However, he was also a poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist. We have many examples of all areas of his life in the Library, courtesy of G.D.H. Cole, but it is his socialist writings which we are focusing on in this post.



Frontispiece of News from Nowhere

Cole first read William Morris’s Utopian novel ”News from nowhere”* when he was fifteen years old and was converted to socialism immediately. He strove to lead his life according to Morris’s democratic socialist ideal, committed to social equality and the full development of an individual’s potential:

My conversion to Socialism had very little to do with parliamentary politics … I was converted, quite simply, by reading William Morris’s News from Nowhere, which made me feel, suddenly and irrevocably, that there was nothing except a Socialist that it was possible for me to be … I became a Socialist, as many others did in those days, on grounds of morals and decency and aesthetic sensibility.”

– G. D. H. Cole, “British Labour Movement: retrospect and prospect” (London: Fabian Society, 1951), pp. 3­‐4 [Nuffield College Library, HX 11.F]

*William Morris, “News from nowhere : or an epoch of rest : being some chapters from a Utopian romance”, [Nuffield College Library, Special Morris 17a]

He expressed his commitment to and belief in Morris’s socialism in a series of three lectures, “The life of William Morris” in which he wrote: “William Morris was a Socialist, not of the armchair or even of the merely writing sort, but as an active propagandist, who taught himself to address street-corner meetings–about the only thing … that he did badly … and saw no hope of good art or happy living except in a society of friends and equals, based on co-operative effort in production and on common enjoyment of the fruits of labour.”

– G. D. H. Cole, The Life of William Morris, Part 2 (London: Common Ground, n.d.), p. 8 [Nuffield College Library, G.D.H. Cole archive collection, E5/18/2/1-15]



Morris the propagandist

This drawing is by Walter Crane and illustrates Morris speaking to a crowd in Hyde Park, London. Cole wrote “he felt it to be his plain duty to take an active part in … propaganda … shirk no duty … disliked public speaking, and open air most of all, nor was he a good speaker … taught himself to lecture reasonably well … travelling about the country addressing Socialist meetings.

– G. D. H. Cole, The Life of William Morris, Part 2 (London: Common Ground, n.d.), p. 8 [Nuffield College Library, G.D.H. Cole archive collection, E5/18/2/1-15]


Cole admired much of Morris’s prose and poetry but he wrote that “A dream of John Ball”, “is the finest and most finished of all Morris’s prose writing : in it his love for the middle ages, for the English country, and for the common people were all caught up into a unity into which he put more of himself than usually got into any one of his works.

– G. D. H. Cole, The Life of William Morris, Part 2 (London: Common Ground, n.d.), p. 25 [Nuffield College Library, G.D.H. Cole archive collection, E5/18/2/1-15]


W. Morris, “A Dream of John Ball”, (London: Kelmscott P, 1892)





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Christmas vacation opening hours 2015

The library is ready for Christmas!

Christmas tree

Over the Christmas vacation the library’s opening hours are*:


7-21 December             09:30 – 17:30

22 December                  09:30 – 12:15

23 December – 1 January     CLOSED

4 – 15 January                 09:30 – 17:30

Vacation loans start from Monday 14th December and will be due back on Monday 11th January.


*This does not apply to Nuffield College members, who will have normal access throughout.

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New to Oxford?

If you are new to Oxford, here are some tips on other useful libraries, finding your way around and interesting events in the city.

Other libraries in Oxford:

Members of Nuffield College can access other Oxford University libraries with their University Card. Many of these fall under the umbrella term The Bodleian Libraries which includes the central Bodleian Library (reference only) and departmental libraries, most of which you can borrow from.

The Bodleian Social Science Library is the University’s main library for the social sciences, all members of Nuffield may register to borrow.

St. Antony’s College Library is also open to members of Nuffield and is particularly strong in the field of International Relations. Opening hours are 09:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00 Monday to Friday but please call or email before your first visit.

Please note that other college libraries are primarily for the use of their own members, if a college library has the only copy of a book in Oxford, they may admit you to consult it, but please always contact the library first.

Finding your way around:

Oxford Collection

The Oxford Collection

First of all, consult the Oxford Collection which is in the 1st floor lobby of the library, here you will find maps and guidebooks as well as histories of Oxford and novels set in the city.

mobile oxford Android app.

There is also an interactive map of the University online and, when you are out and about, you can use Mobile Oxford which has a mobile-friendly website and Android and iPhone apps. Both services show libraries, colleges, departments and public transport information.

What’s on:

Details of lectures and seminars can be found in the termly supplement to Oxford University Gazette, published in 0th week. Here is the lecture list for Michaelmas Term 2015.

Oxford University Events lists lectures, concerts, exhibitions and more all of which are open to the public.

Interesting Talks in Oxford is similar but offers the option to sort by category.

Daily Info (printed version in the Lodge) contains listings of events, classified ads, reviews of local restaurants and just about anything else you can think of!

Anything else?

Ask a member of Library staff!

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Welcome to Nuffield College Library

This post is designed to help new readers find their way around Nuffield College Library.

Social media

A great starting point for information is the Library website!  However, we also regularly update our social media pages with publications of interest, including those from Nuffield College members, and current affairs items such as the University of Oxford’s recent release of ‘Act on Acceptance’, whereby publications need to be deposited into Oxford’s repository to be eligible for REF.  Our social media profiles include Facebook, Twitter, WordPress blogDelicious and Library Thing.  Follow us to keep informed about new developments!

Photocopying, scanning & printing

There is a photocopier/scanner/printer in the 2nd floor reading room. You will need to get a Nuffield Library EMOS photocopy card from the Library circulation desk or the Finance Department for Nuffield College members for photocopying.  Printing for Nuffield College members is done from here by linking into the College network and choosing that printer.

There are several computer workstations in the reading rooms, which can be used to search SOLO and access the Internet. You can also print from these; this costs 5p per printed side and printouts should be collected and paid for at the Circulation Desk.

Further information is available on the library’s IT Facilities webpage.

Internet access

Internet access is available via the computer workstations in the reading room, but Nuffield College members can also access it on laptops/tablets/electronic devices via the wireless networks: Nuffield WLAN, OWL and Eduroam.

Further information is available on the library’s IT Facilities webpage.

How to find books

1. Find the shelfmark:

Most of our stock is searchable on SOLO, once you have found a book, click on the “Find and request” tab:


You can see which Oxford libraries have a copy, click on the plus sign next to Nuffield. You can now see the shelfmark (also known as a call number) and whether or not the book is available:


2. Find out which floor the shelfmark is on:


Click on the image to expand

You can find these posters in the Library – they tell you the floor on which you can find the various shelfmarks. This particular book, HD 9161.G72.T, is in the basement. You can take most books off the shelf yourself, but anything which says “closed access” (for example theses or short loan books) please ask at the Enquiry Desk on the 1st floor. Anything which has a shelfmark beginning with “X” is kept in the Library Extension, in the basement of L Staircase.

3. Finding your way around

Have a look at our 3D map or consult the schematic plan in the Readers’ Guide which you received when you registered.

Inter-library loans

Members of Nuffield College who wish to borrow books not held anywhere in Oxford can submit an inter-library loan request on the Nuffield College intranet. You will need to be signed into the intranet to access the inter-library loan request form. On the intranet, go to ‘Resources’ and then ‘Library’. Here you’ll find the link to the ‘Inter-library loan request form.’ Please supply as much information as possible. Clicking ‘save’ will submit your request. We will get in touch with you about your request as soon as possible.

Please contact inter-library loans via email if you have any questions:

New book requests

Members of Nuffield College can submit a book request. If you would like the Library to buy a book that is in line with our acquisition policy, which can be found here, complete a book request form. You need to be signed into the intranet to access the book request form. The link for the form can be found on the ‘Library’ page on the Nuffield College intranet. Click on ‘Request new book’ and fill in the form with as much detail as possible. If you do not need the book urgently then please select ‘less urgently’. When you click ‘save’ at the bottom of the form this submits your request.

Newspapers and Magazines

Magazine rack (Current Affairs Room)

Magazine rack (Current Affairs Room)

The library subscribes to newspapers with current issues kept in the Current Affairs Room on the 1st floor of the library. We have both English and foreign language newspapers, which are kept for two months. The older newspapers are kept in the Cole Room on the 2nd floor behind the wooden lectern.

The library also keeps popular magazines like The Economist and Spectator in the magazine rack in the Current Affairs Room.  Both newspapers and magazines can be taken out on loan from the library by members of college.

Theses and Safe items

If you would like to look at somebody’s thesis or an item from the Safe collection, please ask a member of staff at the Enquiry Desk as they are only accessible by staff. If you give us the title, author (and year for theses) then we can fetch the item for you. College members can borrow theses and items from the Safe collection for 1 week, although different rules apply for external members.

Please ask a member of staff if you have any questions.

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