James Joyce in the Collection of Livres d’Artistes

This month's blog post on the Library's Livres d’Artistes is written by Tom Cullimore, a previous trainee and recent Assistant Librarian at St John's College Library. The Library has a collection of livres d’artistes - you can find out more about these texts by reading Tom's previous blog post. This collection includes two visual interpretations... Continue Reading →


‘By herself’: rediscovering the history of women at St John’s College, Oxford

This year St John's College is celebrating the establishment of its new Women's Network with a Women's Festival on the 10th March 2018. As part of the festival, the Library has collaborated with Archives and Paintings to create an exhibition on the history of women at St John's, from its founding in 1555 through to the... Continue Reading →

Your Guide to Christmas in 1884

It can be tricky to navigate the maze of gifts, food, entertainment, cards, and relatives that make up Christmas - how can you know for sure you are making the perfect purchasing decisions? This month's Special Collections blog post picks the best bits from the 1884 Pall Mall Gazette Christmas Extra Edition, which offers the... Continue Reading →

Words on Witchcraft

The late 16th and early 17th Centuries saw the peak of 'witch hysteria' in Europe. Paranoia surrounding ideas about sorcery and demons led to accusations, trials and cruel punishments, including tens of thousands of executions. This month's blog post explores the literature that fuelled this phenomenon: as texts that condemened or seemingly provided evidence for... Continue Reading →

Stories from the Shelves

From the founding of St John's College in 1555 through to the present day, the life of the Library has been one of bold choices and big changes. Our current exhibition, Stories from the Shelves, explores the Library and its readers throughout the ages using items from our special collections. Here you can see a... Continue Reading →

The Texts of the Reformation

The 31st October 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, a text that sparked the Reformation. The movement was entwined with the introduction of Gutenberg’s printing press, allowing the rapid spread of texts such as pamphlets and vernacular Bibles. As such, it is a historical moment of shift in terms of reading, writing... Continue Reading →

On This Day – The Laudian Library Opens

25 August 1636: the Opening of the Laudian Library The Laudian Library, St John's College, Oxford To mark the opening of the new Inner Library, now the Laudian Library, Archbishop Laud held a lavish celebration, attended by King Charles I and Queen Henrietta. "my Mathematike Library is in such forwardness" As part of Archbishop William Laud's development... Continue Reading →

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