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.  Our social media profiles include Facebook, Twitter, WordPress blog 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. Nuffield College members can upload files to the Nuffield Print Server and send them to print out at this machine.

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 and via the wireless networks: Nuffield WLAN, Eduroam and The Cloud. If you have any problems connecting to wireless, please ask library staff at the Enquiry Desk.

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:

shelfmarksYou 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 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: library-ill@nuffield.ox.ac.uk.

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)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.

For more help finding theses, read our previous blog post: Finding Nuffield College Theses.

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

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Finding Nuffield College theses


A stack of theses on the Enquiry Desk

To request theses, please either ask at the Enquiry Desk on the 1st floor or email us.  Please give the author’s surname and the year of graduation and we fill fetch the theses for you.

All theses by Nuffield College members that we hold in the library are catalogued on SOLO and can be searched by author or title.

There are, however, two new ways to browse all theses since 2000 by examination:

1. Consult this handlist

2. Theses from 2000- are now tagged on SOLO. To find tags in SOLO, click on “Tags” in the top right corner:


In the “Search for Tag” box (NOT the main search bar) Search for “nuf” to find a list of all tags relating to Nuffield College theses:



Tags are organised by subject, then examination, so “nuf-eco-mphil” will give a list of all Nuffield College M.Phil. Economics theses, “nuf-ir-dphil” will give a list of all Nuffield College D.Phil. International Relations thesespic3



You can then use the sort options to organise your results by date (to see the most recent titles) or author (to find an alphabetical list).

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EU referendum: helpful sources of information

With just over a month to go before the EU referendum and both sides of the campaign issuing conflicting facts, figures & claims, here are just a selection of the sources available to help keep up to date and informed.


The UK in a Changing Europe: “The authoritative source for independent research on UK-EU relations”.  UK changing europe

One of the largest and most conspicuous initiatives which offers authoritative, non-partisan and impartial analysis, research and events into the complex issues involved.  Directed by Nuffield College Associate member Anand Menon, it also has various high profile experts on board including Dr. Angus Armstrong, Professor Iain Begg, Professor Catherine Barnard, Professor Simon Hix, Professor Michael Keating and Dr Sara Hagemann.

Full Fact: Full Fact is the UK’s independent, non-partisan, fact checking charity, checking claims made by politicians, the media, pressure groups, and other voices in public debate, and pushing for corrections where necessary.  They are fact checking the EU referendum, including the government’s EU leaflet, ensuring whatever decision you make you should have the correct facts to help.

European Documentation Centre, Cardiff: The team here have provided a guide to resources on the Brexit debate.  Click on the images in this guide to link into a range of
information sources.

National Institute of Economic and Social Research:  you can find all the NIESR research on the EU referendum here. This covers three key areas: the macroeconomic impacts of a decision to leave the EU, immigration and free movement and the financial sector. There are research papers, videos & briefings and blog posts.

CEPR brexit

Centre for Economic Performance Brexit 2016:  here you can find policy analysis, blog posts and press releases from the Centre for Economic Performance regarding Brexit 2016.

IFS_logo  In a new report and accompanying interactive online tool IFS researchers provide an explanation of how the EU budget works, its size, where revenues come from and what the main areas of spending are. They also provide an estimate of the UK’s net contributions to the EU.

EUReferendum.UK: this site offers sources of information about the UK’s referendum about membership of the EU, including a quiz to test your current knowledge!


What UK Thinks: EU Poll of Polls what_uk_thinks_eu_logo

This poll of polls from NatCen Social Research is based on the average share of the vote for ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ in the six most recent polls of voting intentions in the EU Referendum.  There is also an option to explore the site by topics based on popular questions such as does the EU work? What should the EU do? & perceived consequences of leaving the EU.

BBC’s EU referendum poll tracker: Senior BBC political analyst Peter Barnes assesses what the polls may be telling us, including YouGov, Ipsos Mori, ICM, TNSOpiniumSurvation, ComRes



LSE British politics and policy blog: a variety of articles from academic observers on Brexit 2016.  This is complimented by BrexitVote, also by the LSE, which includes blog posts and articles on campaigns, culture, European economics & politics and the LSE Commission on the Future of Britain in Europe which aims to inform the national debate on Britain’s membership of the European Union, with high quality, evidence-based and balanced analysis.

UK-EU Referendum Watch: the blog of the UK-EU Referendum Watch hosted by the Global Europe Centre (GEC) at the University of Kent. This blog aims to provide non-partisan coverage of the UK’s referendum on EU membership.

The Conversation’s EU referendum: The Conversation is a collaboration between editors and academics to provide informed news analysis and commentary that’s free to read and republish and their authors are providing lots of news, research and analysis in the run up to the referendum.

BBC EU Referendum: a variety of news articles, interviews and videos on the many issues involved in the referendum.

BBC eu ref

FT UK’s EU referendum: commentary, analysis and their own Brexit poll tracker

You can also keep up to date with the Nuffield Library monthly official publications and reports updates, available hereand by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

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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 www.copac.ac.uk (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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