Finding Aids

Many of the items in the Old Library have been catalogued, although it is still a work in progress. Information about our collections, including where to find and access the relevant catalogues, can be found below.

There are about 20,000 books printed between 1500 and 1800 in the Old Library.

The collection reflects the interests of the community of fellows from the foundation of the college on a diverse range of topics including theology, history, classics, travel, politics, literature, and a particularly special early science collection. We have one of the best early botanical book collections in the world.

The pre-1800 book collection has been partly (but not entirely) catalogued onto SOLO.

The manuscript collection was catalogued (in Latin) by Coxe in the 19th century, and his catalogue may be read as a Google Book.

A much-improved catalogue of the Western manuscripts is currently being prepared for publication.

A printed catalogue of the Greek manuscripts was published in 2016.

If you would like to order a copy of A Catalogue of Greek Manuscripts of Magdalen College, Oxford for your library or personal collection, please email The catalogue retails for £20 ($25) + P&P.

Images of some of the Greek manuscripts are available online.

Magdalen College has been collecting the works of its members for centuries.

The Old Library also houses two collections of modern special collections – T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) and Oscar Wilde, both of whom were members of Magdalen.

St John Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis, 11th century, MS Gr 3