St John's College Library's Special Collections contain the personal papers of alumni and Fellows of the College relating to their professional and private lives. (Papers created by College officers in their official capacity are kept in the College's institutional archives.) The personal papers date from the sixteenth century to the present day, with the nineteenth and twentieth centuries being most strongly represented. The collections include manuscript papers, photographs, artworks, maps, music and printed material, as well as artefacts, audio-visual and electronic media.
Personal papers are consulted in the Rare Books Reading Room, which is accessed via the Working Library entrance in Chapel Court.
All those wishing to consult material from the Special Collections should make an appointment in advance by contacting the Special Collections Librarian (firstname.lastname@example.org) indicating the material they wish to see.
Members of the public as well as College members, students and staff are welcome to consult the collection.
The Rare Books Reading Room is staffed Monday to Friday, 9-1 and 2-5, throughout the year. We are closed between Christmas and New Year, on the Easter Bank Holidays and the Friday and Monday of the August Bank Holiday weekend. Occasionally we are closed for visits and seminars. Please check with the Special Collections Librarian for further information.
For general enquiries about services or the collections, or to make an appointment for a visit, please contact the Special Collections Librarian (01223 339393).