We aim to stock core texts for first- and second-year undergraduates and to provide a conducive working space for all Lincoln College members. Our friendly Library staff are here to help you get the most out of the libraries of Oxford and to support your studies.

Opening Hours

The Library is open for borrowing and returning books 9am-11pm. To study in the Library, you need to book a two hour slot using the College meal booking system (books close at 10am for that day). There are 16 spaces available in each time slot: 9-11am, 12-2pm, 3-5pm, 6-8pm, 9-11pm.

We require readers to:

  • wear face coverings throughout their time in the Library
  • observe the distancing markers in the churchyard when queuing to enter the Library at the beginning of a session
  • use the alcohol gel at the entrance to the Library
  • put all books used in the Library into the book return bins in the Assistant Librarian’s desk after use so that they can be quarantined. If you are likely to need an item again within three days, please check it out
  • clean photocopier and self-issue touchscreens before and after use with the sanitising wipes provided
  • clean the desk you have been using at the end of your session, as you have been doing in the EPA and MCR.

As always, Library staff are available to help you, but we ask that you email us on or telephone us on 0865 279831: you will not be able to enter the Library Office.

Accessibility information about our library can be found here. We are keen to help all our readers to make the most of our library, so please contact us to discuss further support or equipment we could provide to facilitate this. The Bodleian provides a document conversion service, SensusAccess, that converts readings into alternative formats including audio books and digital Braille.

You can also follow Lincoln Library on Instagram, Facebook, and LibraryThing.

Library FAQs

Library staff are here to help you. If you cannot find the answer to your question below, please contact us.

How do I find a book?

You can use any device on the Oxford University network to search for books in Lincoln College and other Oxford University Libraries using Search Oxford Libraries Online (SOLO).

You can find information on how to access Oxford University resources from outside the University here.

  • Once you have connected to SOLO, ‘Sign In’ to ensure all electronic resources available to you are shown. Click in the ‘Search’ box, enter the title or author of the item you need and click on ‘Go’. To enter more search terms, use ‘Advanced search’.
  • Click on the item you require from the results list. Be aware that the first results screen on SOLO may tell you there is more than one version of an item. You have to go back to the results list to see holdings of the other version.
  • Click on ‘Find & Request’ to see all the libraries that stock that item. The list of libraries which stock the item is in alphabetical order, so scroll down until you see Lincoln College Library. If it is not in the list, we do not stock the item.
  • To find out whether a library’s copies are available to borrow, confined to the library, on loan to someone else, when they are due back, or the shelfmark, click on the name of the library.
  • If it is in Lincoln Library, make a note of the shelfmark.
  • Lincoln College Library is arranged so that shelfmarks 100 begin on the shelves nearest the door in the Upper Library and follow clockwise round the Upper Library, apart from shelfmarks 340-349 (Law) which are in the Lower Library on the right-hand side and 000-006 (Computing), 500-659 (Sciences), 780 (Music), 791 (Film), 830-895 (Modern Languages) which are in the Lower Library on the left-hand side. For help locating a shelfmark, please see the Library Map.
  • Books shelfmarked 'Ref' are found in the Lower Library on the right-hand side on the shelves nearest the stairs. Books shelfmarked 'Law Ref' are found on the adjacent shelves. Books shelfmarked OM or LIN Tower can only be accessed by Library staff. You may ask for items from the Tower to be fetched for you at any time during office hours.
How do I find a periodical?

Electronic access to periodicals and databases is via Databases A-Z.

Current issues of print periodicals are displayed in the browser on the Library entrance level, near the Self-Issue machine. Previous issues are stored in the rolling stack on the right-hand side of the Lower Library.

Modern Language newspapers and book review periodicals are put in the browser on the Library entrance level, near the Self-Issue machine each day in Full Term. Back issues are found on the shelves in the Upper Library nearest the book lift at the top of the right-hand staircase. We stock Frankfurter Allgemeine, Le Monde, El Pais and La Repubblica and The London Review of Books, The New York Review of Books and The Times Literary Supplement.

How do I borrow books?

Borrowing Books

  • You can borrow books via the Self-Issue machine at any time.
  • You can borrow up to 20 books.
  • Loan period during term is 14 days: loan period during vacations is the whole of the vacation.
  • Vacation borrowing begins on Monday of 8th week each term and Vacation loans are due back on Monday of 1st week each term.
  • You can renew books remotely (e.g. online using SOLO or by email) up to three times; after that you must bring the book back during office hours to be checked in before it can be borrowed again.
  • Three reminder notices are sent out: one a day before the due date, one 2 days after the due date and one 7 days after the due date. Please respond promptly to avoid being added to the blacklist. It is better to contact Library staff to explain if you have any difficulties in returning books, rather than to ignore reminders. You may be liable to receive a fine from the Senior Dean, if you persistently ignore reminders to return your loans.
  • The Library charges for loaned books that are lost.
  • Books are borrowed for your personal use only; it is strictly forbidden to borrow books on behalf of others, especially if they are not members of Lincoln College.

Using the Self-issue Machine

  • Put the book (or whole pile of books) you wish to check out onto the bookplate.
  • Select ‘Issue’ on the touch-screen.
  • Scan your Bod card.
  • Check the list that comes up in green to ensure all your books have checked out successfully. If you get any result other than 'Loan performed', your book has not checked out. See below.
  • Leave the books on the bookplate for a moment to ensure the alarm tags are de-sensitised.
  • Select ‘Finish’.

N.B. If you do not put the book(s) on the bookplate, they may be checked out by the system, but the tag will not be de-sensitised and will trigger the security gate alarm. Should you be unlucky enough to trigger the alarm, please write in the blue folder on the desk beside the security gates.

Self-Issue Not Working

If self-issue doesn't work, this is usually for one of four reasons:

  1. Your University Card may not be registered for this Library yet: in which case, contact a member of library staff who will be able to register you.
  2. You are trying to borrow a confined copy of the book. These may only be used in the Library.
  3. You may have had your account placed on Admin Hold because you have exceeded the fines limit of one of the University libraries. If so, you need to pay off some of the fine at one of the Bodleian Libraries in order to resume using self-issue. Lincoln Library staff can issue the books for you during office hours instead.
  4. The self-issue machine may not be working or out of order.

Please let Library staff know during office hours or the Lodge staff know at other times (dial 79800 from the telephone on the issue desk) and they can restart the machine to try to fix it. If the Lodge are unsuccessful, please make a note of any books you are removing from the Library in the blue Alarm Folder on the desk at the entrance, making sure to include the barcode inside the front cover of each book. You will need to bring the items in during office hours to have them de-sensitised, to prevent them triggering the book alarm every time you bring them into or out of the Library.

How do I return books?

Please return borrowed Library books as soon as you have finished with them, placing them spine first in the book return bins in the Assistant Librarian's desk at the Library entrance.

Books consulted in the Library but not checked out should be placed on the reshelving trolley in either the Upper or Lower Library for re-shelving.

How do I renew a book?

You can renew your loans using SOLO:

  • Select 'Sign In' on the SOLO home page.
  • Enter your Oxford Single Sign-On login and password.
  • Click on 'Continue to Shibboleth Identity Provider'.
  • Click on your name and select ‘Loans’ from the drop-down list.
  • From here you can see when your books are due back and select titles for renewal.
  • Ensure you ‘Sign Out’ and close the browser after use on a shared computer or other people may access your account.

You may also renew books in person or by emailing the Library team.

You will not be able to renew a book if someone else has placed a hold on it and you must return it to the Library as soon as possible. You may renew books online three times. If you still require them after that and no-one else has placed a hold on them, you should bring them into the Library during office hours and we can renew them for you.

How do I place a hold on a book?

Members of Lincoln College can place a hold on a book at Lincoln College Library if all borrowing copies of a title are out on loan.

You can do this by finding the title you want on SOLO.

  • Use the search box to see if a Lincoln copy is available.
  • If all the copies are on loan or confined, 'Sign In' using your Oxford Single Sign-On at the top right hand corner of the screen.
  • Click on the library name in the results list.
  • Click on 'Hold' next to the due date.
  • You will now see a ‘hold dialogue’. Note the ‘pick up location’. This is the library from which you will collect the items (Lincoln College Library books can only be collected from Lincoln College Library).
  • If you wish to, you can set a ‘last interest date’. Please note that your hold will be cancelled if the item has not been returned to the library before your last interest date.
  • You do not need to fill in the author, title, volume and notes sections.
  • To check the progress of a hold or to cancel it choose ‘My Account’ (top right), followed by ‘Requests’. You will receive an email notification when the item has been returned to the Library. It will be left for you to collect on the bottom shelf of the trolley next to the Assistant Librarian’s desk.
  • If you no longer require the book, please cancel the hold on SOLO and email the Library to let us know you have done this. No one else can borrow the book until you have done this and other readers may need the book.
  • If you are unable to place the hold, either there is a loan copy available, Lincoln College Library does not stock the item or you have blocks on your record and you will need to speak to Library staff.

Find more information here.

How do I request a new book?

Students are encouraged to recommend new titles for purchase by the College Library.

You can do so by filling in this form or by contacting the Library, including in your email the course for which this book will be used and the name of a Lincoln College Tutor who can vouch for your request, as well as the bibliographic details of the book.

Alternatively, you can fill in a book request slip, which are found on the backs of the lecterns in the Upper Library, on windowsills in the Lower Library, and in the leaflet holder next to the reader PCs. Once completed, put it on the Assistant Librarian’s desk.

You will be notified by email when approved books are ready for use. New books are displayed on the trolley next to the Assistant Librarian’s desk or on the desk at the Library entrance.

What should I do if I am on the blacklist?

If you receive an email from Library staff telling you that you are on the blacklist, it means that you have at least one loan that is very overdue. You should either

  • Return the overdue loans to the library, using the Book Return Bin in the Assistant Librarian's desk at the Library entrance; or,
  • Ask the Library staff to renew your loans. If the books have already been renewed 3 times, you will be asked to bring the books back into the library for checking in. If there are no holds on the books, Library staff can renew them again for you, if you still need them.

If you are unable to return the books immediately, it is important to contact Library staff to explain the difficulty, rather than to ignore reminders. You may be liable to receive a fine from the Senior Dean, if you persistently ignore reminders about overdue loans.

What should I do if I trigger the book alarm?

Library books are protected by a security tag in each book. If you trigger a security alarm, either when entering or leaving the library, or even if it goes off for no obvious reason, please report the incident in the blue folder on the desk near the security gates. You are asked to record your name, the date, and time of the alarm and to list any books you were carrying at the time, whether they belong to Lincoln Library or elsewhere.

Failure to report incidents or failure to charge books out properly may result in a fine issued by the Senior Dean.

How do I learn more about the College’s historic collections?

Lincoln’s Library dates back to the foundation of the College in 1427 and we have a significant collection of early printed books and manuscripts. To find out more about the history of the collection and its particular strengths visit Lincoln Unlocked.

We encourage all College members to visit the Senior Library. A good opportunity to do so is our Termly 'Unlocking the Senior Library' session, when you can drop in to see selected items from our historic collections and talk to us about them. Alternatively, contact our antiquarian cataloguer, Sarah Cusk, who will be happy to show you around.

We are keen to promote research into the collections. The College’s manuscripts, which are housed in the Weston Library, are mostly listed in Coxe, H. O. Catalogus codicum mss. qui in collegiis aulisque Oxoniensibus hodie adservantur. Oxonii : E typographeo Academico, 1852 [Lincoln College Library shelfmark B 011.31 Cox]. Manuscripts deposited subsequently are listed in College Library Manuscripts Deposited in the Bodleian not in Coxe, which is held at the Issue Desk in the Mackerras Reading Room of the Weston Library. To consult our manuscripts, you need a Bod card with manuscript permissions, which allows you to call them up to the Mackerras Reading Room.

Our early printed books are largely shelved in the Senior Library and we are in the process of cataloguing them onto SOLO, where you will find full descriptions of the individual copies held at Lincoln. If you cannot find what you are looking for, or have a more general question related to an area of interest, please contact Sarah Cusk, who will do her best to answer your question.

What else do I need to know about using the Library?

Please respect the needs of other members of College for a pleasant and conducive working environment. In particular, students value the fact that our Library is a place for quiet study. If you do need to talk to someone, please go outside the Library. Please ensure your mobile phone is silent and that you do not make or receive calls until you are outside the Library doors.

The Library is strictly for the use of Lincoln College members only. You should not bring friends into the Library, except as part of a tour of the College, when we ask you to stay on the entrance level. You are not allowed to borrow books on behalf of others.

WiFi is available throughout the library, using the same OWL network as the rest of College. Plug sockets are available on or under most desks.

There is a colour photocopier/scanner/printer in the Library basement, which is charged to your College printing account. A4 and A3 printing and copying is available in both colour and black & white. Members of the MCR and JCR can connect to the University’s electronic resources from any device on the College network. It is possible to download information onto memory sticks on the terminals in the Library.

In order to keep the desks clear for all members of College, the tables are cleared each morning: you are advised not to leave books, papers or personal property lying around, especially overnight.

You are not allowed to bring food or drinks into the Library, except for a small transparent bottle of water.

Contact the Library team
Lucy Matheson

Lucy Matheson

  • Librarian
View profile
Marina Sotiriou

Marina Sotiriou

  • Assistant Librarian
View profile
Sarah Cusk

Sarah Cusk

  • Antiquarian Cataloguer
View profile