About Jesus College/History/Libraries and Archives/
The Celtic Library

The Celtic Library is a research collection in the Celtic languages (namely Welsh, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Breton, Cornish, and Manx, and their ancient predecessors), reflecting Jesus College’s historic links with Wales and the Welsh language.

The collection also supports the study of Celtic history, archaeology, and culture. Readers with Celtic interests (as defined in our access policy) are invited to contact the College Librarian to arrange access.

The Celtic Library occupies a separate room within the modern languages section of the Meyricke Library, the main library for students at Jesus College. Please borrow and return your books at the self-service machine on the ground floor. Readers from other colleges may borrow only from the Celtic Library, not from the general Meyricke Library collections; readers from outside the University have reference access only.

The 9,000 books and journals in the Celtic Library are catalogued on SOLO, the library catalogue covering the majority of the library collections of the University of Oxford. The library preserves books from the collections of Celtic scholars including Charles Plummer, D. Ellis Evans, and Robert Leith Thomson.

Members of Jesus College can use the College Wi-Fi network in the Celtic Library. Other readers should register for ‘The Cloud’ free public Wi-Fi.

Our College Librarian is Owen McKnight, who can be contacted by emailing librarian@jesus.ox.ac.uk or by calling (01865) 279704. The Librarian’s usual office hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Celtic Library is open for browsing and borrowing, from 9.30 a.m. until 10.30 p.m., 7 days a week, with a closure for cleaning between 12.30 and 1.30 p.m. If you wish to stay and study, please book an early or late study session. External readers are admitted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Face coverings are required unless you have an exemption. Please clear and clean your desk as you leave.

If you cannot get to the library during the new opening hours, you can use our new Click & Collect service. Find the book you need on SOLO, choose ‘Jesus College Library’, and click the green Request button. Staff will have the book ready for you the next working day. Students who do not otherwise have access to the Celtic Library may also request individual books via Click & Collect.

Finally, we can Scan & Supply single book chapters and journal articles from the collections, within copyright restrictions.

The Celtic Collection is arranged by language as follows:

Z      General
ZA    Welsh
ZB    Irish
ZC    Scottish Gaelic
ZD    Manx [Librarian’s office]
ZE    Breton [Librarian’s office]
ZF    Cornish [Librarian’s office]
ZG    Basque [a small set of historic books kept in an attic store and which can be fetched by staff on request]

Each language has six broad subdivisions:

i     General
ii    Linguistics
iii   Literature
iv   History
v    Religion and mythology
vi   Music

Celtic Library floor plan

Celtic Library collection development policy

Readers with disabilities, and prospective students, are invited to contact the Librarian to discuss support in using the Library. A guide to access to the College buildings is available on the main College website. In particular, the Celtic Library is reached by two flights of thirteen steps: we can offer alternative arrangements for consulting books on request.

Students may nominate another member of College, or a support worker approved by the University’s Disability Advisory Service, to accompany them in the Library or borrow books on their behalf.

Students who cannot access the Library can also take advantage of the Click & Collect service, or by arrangement, library staff can deliver books to the Lodge within one working day.

Please ask staff if you would like to reserve a desk in one of the ground-floor reading rooms of the Meyricke Library. One adjustable desk is available to book.

Another significant collection for Celtic studies in Oxford is the Celtic collection at the Taylor Institution Library. Books and journals on the archaeology of the Celtic countries are also held in the Sackler Library.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s personal Celtic library is preserved at the Weston Library under the auspices of the English Faculty Library.

The Language Centre Library has resources for learning the Celtic languages, among many others.