Built in 1857 and originally the Society’s debating chamber, the Oxford Union Old Library is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world and a striking example of Victorian architecture. The murals adorning its walls were painted by William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and retain the stunning vibrancy typical of Pre-Raphaelite art.
Monday to Friday 09:30 – 19:00
Saturday 11:00 – 17:00
Monday to Friday 09:30 – 17:00
Fixed Closed Dates
Closed 18 August. Reopen 5 September
Vacation borrowing for books starts on the Monday of 7th week in each term. Items borrowed for the vacation are due back in 1st week of the following term. Members may borrow up to 10 books and 5 DVDs for the vacation.
Researchers from outside the University of Oxford may visit the reading rooms for reference only, if we have resources which are unavailable elsewhere.
The Library Team aim to create an inclusive environment for all our members, especially those particular accessibility needs. If you require extra support from us, please speak to a member of the Library Team, email our Librarian-in-Charge, or call us on +44 (0) 1865 951073, and we will be happy to discuss what we can offer.
We currently offer a variety of services and equipment:
Non-Members Visiting the Old Library
We welcome visitors to the Old Library who wish to view the murals or simply have a look around.
For small groups of up to 5 there is no need to book ahead. For larger groups and tour groups, please email email@example.com with proposed visitor numbers, date, and time.
There is a charge of £5 per person, increasing to £8 per person should you also wish to view the debate chamber as part of your visit (subject to availability). School groups are not charged.
For more information, including bespoke tours, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01865 951073
For questions pertaining to the Union’s records and archives, please contact: email@example.com