The library building in Mob Quadrangle, dating from 1373, is the oldest continuously functioning library for university academics and students in the world. Growing steadily over the centuries and currently comprising more than 70,000 volumes, the library collections in manuscript, print and electronic formats reflect the University curriculum from the middle ages to the present day. The special collections include over 300 medieval manuscripts, personal papers of notable Mertonians such as the mountaineer Andrew 'Sandy' Irvine (1902-1924) and the caricaturist and critic Max Beerbohm (1872-1956), as well as early printed books. The extensive college archive has an unbroken history back to the foundation of the college in 1264, documenting college activities and the administration of the estates that have supported the college community for over 700 years.
Today the library and archive, growing through purchase and through generous gifts, provide a remarkable living resource for all members of the college and for visiting researchers, while college tours and changing exhibitions allow the college to share its treasures with a wider public.