The general collection of the College comprises about 10,000 volumes, though the collection does not try to meet the specialised needs of individual students in their particular areas of research - that is a role fulfilled by the University, Departmental and Faculty libraries. Instead the College collection seeks to provide members with works of reference outside their specialisms and a selection of literature of general interest.
There is a collection of children’s books, a section devoted to Darwin & Evolution, and a special section for books written by members of the College. The catalogue is available via the computer based “Union” catalogue maintained in the University centrally and is accessible from computer terminals in the building, along with catalogues of many of the other collections in the University.
Members should scan their books out at the self-checkout computer terminal found at the entrance to the library. The loan period is four weeks and books should be dropped into the returns slot at the checkout terminal. The Librarian will send out reminder emails for late books. Dictionaries and other marked reference books must not be removed from the building.
The Library is not staffed or supervised full time and members are asked to treat it with respect. A loss of books costs time and money and causes inconvenience for other members of the College. Members are encouraged to recommend books for purchase within the Library’s general acquisition policy; books can be recommended via links on the Library website.
Sir Moses Finley, Master of Darwin College from 1976 to 1982, left his personal Library to the College and this is housed in a special room on the upper floor of the Study Centre. This collection covers many aspects of the philosophical, political and social organisation of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds.
It differs from the rest of the Library in that it is a major resource for research. The Finley Room is also available for private study; the key is held in the Porters’ Lodge. The room should not be used for supervisions, and must be vacated by midnight at the latest.