Oriel, books were acquired from the earliest period, and amongst the first books the college had were those that had belonged to 托马斯科巴姆, 伍斯特主教.
In 1320, 托马斯科巴姆, 该大学的前成员, provided money for the erection of a congregation house for the university with a room above it on the north side of St Mary’s church. He intended his books for the use of poor scholars at the university after his death, 但当他在1327年去世时, 他的意图无法实现. 这座建筑还没有建成, the books were pledged by Cobham’s executors to meet the expenses of his funeral and were redeemed by Adam de Brome who was now Provost of Oriel. Brome agreed that the scholars of his new college would say the prayers requested by the executors for the bishop’s soul, and had the books brought to Oxford and installed in the college. 这些书不在大学里保留, 然而，在1337年左右, 有一大群人陪着学监, removed the books by force in the name of the university. In 1367, they were chained in the upper room, as Cobham had intended.
By 1375, 该学院已拥有98本书, 其中大约52本是艺术书籍, 37神学, 和9的法律. 这些书已经散去了, but over seventy of the surviving manuscripts come from the medieval library. 在中世纪, 直到18世纪, the college seems to have relied mainly on gifts and legacies for its books, 而不是购买, although plate to the value of £30 was sold to provide money for theological works in the 1540s.
As elsewhere, the Oriel books were divided into a lending library and a chained library. A lending library is envisaged in the statutes; every year, 11月2日, 所有的书都要归还, 和每个人, 反过来, 是为了重新选书吗. 关于链式库, there are references to a chained library as early as 1409, and about 1449 a new library was built on the first floor of the east side of the quad, 在现在这个大厅的原址上, 它一直持续到17世纪. To judge from the marks on the manuscripts, they were probably chained so as to lie flat on a series of lecterns, 肯定和墙壁成直角了, 座位之间. The junior fellows were expected to study regularly in the library. By the early 17th century, the ‘stall system’ of shelves seems to have been introduced.
In the rebuilt quad, the library was a room about 50 ft. 通过18英尺. on the top floor of the north side of staircase V; it must have been entered from staircase VII, and it had a row of seven windows on each side (three are now blocked). It was probably divided by projecting bookcases between the windows into seven bays on each side, and there were ‘archives’ and ‘claustra’– lock-ups for manuscripts and valuable books. The books were chained up until 1755, and stood on the shelves with their fore edges showing.
Oriel’s most famous period was between 1780 and 1850, 在与基布尔的合作中达到顶峰, 纽曼和牛津运动. 刚开始的, the library was doubled in size by a bequest from Edward, 第五代雷男爵(1742-1786), formerly High Steward of the University and an Orielensis. This bequest necessitated a new library building. The Senior Library, as it is now known, was
由James Wyatt设计. 图书馆由大约1,000种图书, which is not particularly large for a country house library of the period; but much of what it does contain is of unusual magnificence. 这些书包罗万象, and range in date from the Middle Ages to the end of the eighteenth century. 怀亚特的新图书馆建于1787年, and was illustrated under construction in the Oxford Almanack for 1791. The books were moved into the library in 1795.
The neighbouring St Mary Hall (with its small collection of books) was absorbed by Oriel in 1902; its former chapel was later converted into a reading room for undergraduates, previously only served by a cupboard of books in a lecture room. In 1921, they were admitted as readers into the Senior Library. At first the two rooms were connected by a bridge, 但这在1994-6年被移除, and the Senior Library may now be approached through the Lower Reading Room of the Junior Library. 一场火灾, 1949年3月7日从屋顶向外延伸, resulted in the total loss of just over 300 printed books and the few manuscripts on exhibition, 但在3,000年修复.
Oriel library has several distinctive features. The early medical books are important, as are the connections with the Oxford Movement. Oriel has an extensive collection of works written by or about alumni called Orielensia, 雪松屋. The medieval manuscripts reflect its antiquity while in some ways it still bears the impression of a country house library – an impression given by the Leigh bequest and that of Stephen Noel Furness (1902-1974) who also left a distinguished private twentieth-century collection.
This webpage was written by Marjory Szurko and information was taken from The History of the University of Oxford V.2，牛津:克拉伦登，1992,pp. 407-483; Morgan, P, Oxford Libraries outside the Bodleian: a guide Oxford: Bodleian Library, 第二版, 1980, pp. 98-107; and The Victoria History of the Counties of England, Oxon. 第三,页.119-131.