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The south wing of the Upper Library

Visiting the historic library

Please note: during Trinity term (April to the end of June) we maintain a quiet environment for students to prepare for exams. During these months we are generally unable to offer guided visits to the college and historic library. Organisers of academic groups in Oxford only in Trinity term should contact the Fellow Librarian directly to discuss visiting possibilities. Those wishing to arrange in advance a visit during the summer months should email

Visiting the historic library

Those interested in booking a small group visit to the historic Upper Library are advised to email the tour organiser for up-to-date information. Advance booking is advised if you wish to be sure to attend a tour on a given date. There is a small admission charge of £5 which also includes admission to the College site.

Summer Tours

From July to September, historical tours of the College and Old Library take place, starting at 2:00 and 3:00pm daily (except for those days when the College is closed to visitors). Spaces are limited, so those wishing to come on the tour are advised to book with the Tour Coordinator (up to 24 hours in advance) or with the College Lodge on the day. Any remaining spaces will be made available on the door. There is a modest charge of £5.00 (£3.00 for University members) for the tour, which lasts for approximately 50 minutes. The charge includes regular admission to the College site.

Specialist interest/group visits

If you would like to arrange a group visit or research visit to the Upper Library, please complete either the Group Tour form or the Research Visit form as appropriate. Once we have received your details, we will contact you about scheduling a visit at a mutually convenient time. The number of people permitted in the historic library at one time is limited, and larger groups should be prepared to discuss flexible timetabling. Please note that the scheduling of visits depends on staff commitments, and on college events that may be taking place. Group visits and tours are usually not possible during the final examination period (approximately April – end June).

Virtual Tour

Take a virtual tour of the library courtesy of Google Street View:

You can find out more about the stained glass in the Upper Library on the Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi.

Photo: © The Warden & Fellows of Merton College