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The Library

Exeter’s restored Victorian Gothic library reopens

Following extensive renovation works, Exeter’s charming Victorian Gothic library reopened in Michaelmas Term 2023. The restored library has been modernised while preserving and enhancing the Library’s beautiful architecture.

The Library is now fully accessible, with step-free access, a lift and a wheelchair-accessible toilet. Lighting, heating, ventilation and environmental performance have been significantly improved. There are now electric plug sockets at every desk, and some desks can be raised or lowered electronically to meet different needs and modes of studying. The number of reader spaces has been increased, original architectural features have been restored, as have the original oak bookcases, and stonework and woodwork cleaned and restored.

The result is a truly magnificent study space that fulfils the needs of current students and academics.

The Library is open 24/7, except for a brief closed period over the Christmas vacation.

Entry is by swipe card at the door.

The library is staffed Monday to Friday, 09.00-17.00.

New acquisitions

New books are acquired constantly, and students are encouraged to suggest books for purchase.

Suggestions about the Library and its services are also welcomed. To make a suggestion please email

Who can use the library?

The library is open only to current members of Exeter College. To enter the library and borrow books students need their University Bod cards.

External visitors are admitted by appointment only.

All requests for appointments, including use of the library’s special collections, should be addressed to the Librarian.

Library catalogue

Readers can access Exeter’s library catalogue on SOLO, the joint catalogue of all of the University’s libraries.

SOLO also includes links to the many electronic books and resources available to members of the University.

Borrowing books

Books are borrowed and returned using the self-issue equipment.

Readers may have up to 20 items on loan at a time, with five renewals allowed per book. Undergraduates may borrow books for 14 days, and graduates for the duration of the term. Undergraduates and graduates may borrow books for the entire vacation periods.

Fines are levied for late return of items. Charges are levied for lost books.


There is a photocopier and scanner at the end of the Lower Annexe under the stairs.

Library rules

Library regulations help to make the library a safe and friendly place to work, so please note:

  • The library is for use by current members of Exeter College only. You must not let non-members accompany you into the library at any time. Anyone found doing this will be contacted, and further disciplinary action may result as a consequence.
  • You may not borrow books for non-members of College and other students should not use your Bodleian card or account to borrow books. You are responsible for all books and fines on your library account.
  • Books must not be removed from the library without being checked out on the self-issue machine.
  • Desks must be kept clear when not in use. You may not reserve a desk or leave personal belongings unattended.
  • Food must not be brought into the Library.
  • Only lidded bottled water and consumable liquids in keep cups (i.e. a reusable travel mug with a lid) may be brought in to the library.
  • Please do not bring bottles of ink into the building or fill pens in the library.
  • No alcohol is permitted in the library.
  • Smoking and vaping are not permitted in the library, or outside the library doors.
  • Please keep noise to a minimum in the library and keep your mobile phone on silent and take any phone calls outside the library building.
  • The library lockers are for short-term/daily use only. They are not secure, and items are left at the owner’s own risk. Please do not use them to store perishable or potentially damaging items. Items left for extended periods will be periodically cleared by library staff and taken to Lost Property.

Library and Archives staff

Further information

For information about Exeter College’s Archives please click here.

For information about Exeter College’s special collections please click here.

To contact the Library email or call 01865 279657.