A Well-Read Jaunt: The Queen’s College Library

awellreadjauntOn Wednesday I ended up at The Queen’s College because I needed to look at a book. Now the Oxford Library system is a nice thing but it’s different because each college has their own thing, their department has their own library then each division and then the central library. That makes around… 40 libraries of which I only have access to around 10 onΒ  given day. My college, has such a shit library, I can’t even describe it. I hate it. But it’ll show up on a post one day because it’s super pretty, just pointless for anthropology students.


One of the quads.

So I had to request special permission, meaning I had to fill out an application form, to get access to The Queen’s College library because they were the only place that had the 1 book I needed. So with a sigh I woke up this morning and ran to my appointment (because you need appointments, and to run because it’s on the complete other end of town!). Once I got in I was blow away though, the librarian let me go upstairs as a ‘treat’ and I spent a good hour fangirling.


A shot while it’s still sunny!

You see a few scenes from Harry Potter were shot here and I nearly died. I pretty much fan-girl-died and went to geek-girl-heaven. It’s made me very determined to visit the other Oxford libraries, especially the other 2 that were used in Harry Potter as well! So this series will not only feature bookish stores and cafes, but libraries as well. Besides that I’ve developed a slight point system.

Comfort: 3/5AWRJ3-4
These old libraries are hardly comfortable and no one ever tells you that. It was warm when I went in, but I know for a fact that it’s because it wasstuffy outside. What does this mean? Come winter it’s freezing. Plus every piece of wood creaked when I stepped on it (or jumped as I tried to get a funny photo…). Plus no water, drinks, pencils and so on allowed. Boooo.

Appearance: 5/5
It was so preeeetty! The ceiling was this gorgeous white with a great design on it (and a piece in gold as well). Don’t ask me what era it’s from I have no idea, but The Queen’s College is one of the older ones, meaning it’s pretty darn old. However, the aesthetic of that room screamed lush history and everything felt so rich and great. They had a number of old books on display which we weren’t allowed to touch of course (though my hands ached too!).


Availability: 3/5
If you’re a Queen’s student this place is heaven. If you’re a non-Queen’s Oxford student, it takes some wrangling but it’s doable. Non-Oxford student? Goodluck. That doesn’t mean that I’m not plotting though! The library did have good hours though… It also had a good range of books hence why the score was a bit higher on the availability mark.

Overall, it was exciting stumbling into this little piece of history. It’s inspired me to take advantage of where I am and explore some more. I wonder now, how do I get into the Christ Church hall (where they filmed the Great Hall scenes in HP!)

For more pictures from my adventures, check out my instagram page.



About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
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10 Responses to A Well-Read Jaunt: The Queen’s College Library

  1. O goodness that is so beautiful. I didn’t know what library HP was actually filmed in. It must have been so amazing to visit in person!


    Ughh, now I remember why I wanted to go to Oxford for my MA. So beautiful 😦 Lovely post, Claire! ❀

  3. Sam says:

    I got into Christ Church hall as a tourist when I was there. It has visitor hours for fangirls like us. Good luck!

  4. Whoa…that is a seriously gorgeous library. I would have started emitting high pitched squeals if a librarian had led me around somewhere that had been part of Harry Potter set design, which is probably a faux pas in fancy fancy libraries like that one. You’re right though, it does look a bit uncomfortable! I don’t know how I’d do any studying in there (I need to sprawl, feet on desk, etc.).

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      I did… emit a few squeals which got me into a bit of trouble because everyone who was there (but hidden behind those giant stacks) went SHHHHHHH. I wish I was alone because I really would have gotten into it.

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