College Library is a rare book and manuscript library of international importance. Established soon after the foundation of the college in 1440, it houses more than 150,000 items, ranging from the 10th to 21st centuries. These include printed and manuscript volumes, literary manuscripts, autograph letters, and prints and drawings.
The Library's earliest collections were predominantly theological. Changes in taste and thought are reflected in subsequent additions, which include large numbers of classical books and manuscripts, early scientific works, historical and literary texts in modern languages, and books treasured primarily for their aesthetic or archival interest.
The College Library also has responsibility for the Macnaghten Library of First World War materials, presented to Eton as a memorial in 1938.
In the 1960s the college began collecting rare books and manuscripts of the 19th and 20th centuries. This modern collection includes important examples of English literature and is rich in travel writing, theatrical history and fine printing.
The Library has been fortunate to receive a number of benefactions and continues to add to the collections. It is open to researchers and is used for teaching Etonians and groups from other schools. We welcome visitors and offer the following services:
readers' room for researchers
on-site and remote reference services
regularly changing exhibitions
specialist group and school visits
imaging services (for image requests, please contact the Collections Administrator)
By appointment - Monday-Friday, 9.30am-1pm and 2pm-5pm
Closed on bank holidays and between Christmas and New Year
+44 (0)1753 370 590
for a list of some of the books which have been written about Eton College.