A Well-Read Jaunt: The Anthropology Library

awellreadjauntOk so today I’ll briefly explain Oxford’s library system, which has a pyramid structure. The Bodleian is at the top because it’s the library for everyone. It has every subject regardless of your degree level. Below this base are the academic division libraries, such as social sciences, sciences, humanities and so on. Most of these anyone can just enterbut they’re kind of hard to find, so I’ve only seen the social science library. Below this are the department or subject libraries. Some of these are in the bod system (like the Rhodes library which houses regional books on the commonwealth) and some aren’t, such as the Pitt Rivers Museum library (and the Ashmolean too I believe). You get these ranging on every topic imaginable, such as anthropology, mathematics, art history and some pretty obscure ones like “oriental studies”. Then there are college libraries with restricted access, only college members can go to those.


The Anthropology Library

Today I’m talking about the Anthropology library which isn’t very sexy or exciting, but non-Oxford members can’t get in and I’m determined to scout out Oxford’s libraries for everyone to see. Plus, I spend a stupid amount of time in this place, it’s one of the only libraries with couches and the librarian won’t scream at you if you bring in water- though he will if you bring in food (something I tend to forget because I eat and drink as I work and tend to get kicked out of a lot of places because of it).

Comfort: 4/5
I find this place super comfortable actually, it has couches and chairs. Good desks and a pretty warm carpet. It has a few computers to use and it’s small, yes, but it’s cosy. My biggest quip with this place I also have with essentially the entire Oxford library system: everything is so darn cold sometimes. The heat never works well and those old-fashioned windows let more in than they should.

Sigh, more books. I laid claim to that comfy chair in the corner.

Sigh, more books. I laid claim to that comfy chair in the corner.

Appearance: 4/5
It’s in an old Victorian style building with beautiful brick. It also has a lovely cherry blossom tree in the front that makes everything about it seem so inviting! I didn’t get a shot of the outside because I forgot. Plain and simple. Plus the backyard has an apple tree and we’re allowed to go outside and pick from it!



Availability: 4/5
All non-anthropology students are allowed to get in though they might have a bit of trouble with the awful door swipe (which never seems to work on cold, wet, rainy days- you know, those days when you’re desperate to get warm and inside). That being said it’s completely accessible! I give it a 4 because of the darn swipe.


I want no laughing! But those are the books I’m grabbing for my thesis…

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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3 Responses to A Well-Read Jaunt: The Anthropology Library

  1. Tara says:

    They kick you out for food? I’d never survive! All of our libraries allow food, thank goodness. But I love seeing the inside of the Oxford-y goodness!

  2. Rinn says:

    Is it just me, or are libraries that aren’t necessarily pretty even more exciting when they contain books on your favourite subjects? πŸ™‚

    Are you allowed to go sit in that garden? πŸ˜€

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