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Celtic: Introduction to collections

Purpose of this guide

This guide is intended for students and researchers studying Celtic at the University of Oxford, although students and researchers from any field may find it useful.

Use this guide to find out about books and online resources for Celtic, including ebooks, ejournals and bibliographic databases.


Janet Foot's picture
Janet Foot
Taylor Institution Library
St Giles'
Oxford OX1 3NA

Searching the Libraries (via SOLO, Databases A-Z)

Search print items and electronic journals in SOLO

Search Databases A-Z

Related guides

The following guides, although general in scope, do contain useful information for finding material in Celtic languages such as Irish, Welsh, and Cornish.

Other links

Bodleian iSkills - These workshops are aimed at researchers, academic staff, research students and librarians from across the University.

Research and Resources Guides -  a wide range of research, resource and library guides are available from our  LibGuides service.

Collection Overview

Library resources for the study of Celtic languages and literature are primarily located in the Taylor Institution Library.

The Celtic collection covers aspects of the linguistic, literary, cultural and archaeological traditions of the British Isles and continental Europe. The collection includes material on the general language and literature of the Celts and each of the following languages: Welsh, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, Manx Gaelic, Cornish, Breton and Gaulish. The collection also covers some historical background, archaeology, mythology and religion. There are a significant number of Celtic periodicals and also some language learning material.

Associated collections

  • The Bodleian Library holds material relating to Celtic languages, literature and civilisation.  Books published in the UK arrive through legal deposit and are available for reference use only, but may be requested to the Taylor for use in the Main Reading Room. Theses completed in Oxford are also available in the Bodleian; more recent Oxford theses are accessible electronically through ORA.
  • Supplementary library provision is available at the Sackler Library and there is some Celtic material in the English Faculty Library, History Faculty Library and the Law Library.
  • The Celtic Library at Jesus College has a significant collection.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien's personal Celtic library is preserved at the Weston library under the auspices of the English Faculty Library.
  • The Oxford University Language Centre Library offers multi-media resources for language learning in Breton, Cornish, Gaelic, and Welsh.

Important eResources

Access to electronic library resources is through SOLO and Databases A-Z. To access many of these resources when you are not logged on to the university network you will need your Oxford Single Sign On.

An important e-resource for Celtic is the digital collection: Digital.Bodleian. The collection features digital facsimiles of early manuscripts scanned directly from the originals.

Bibliographic databases

These allow you to find library materials that are not available on SOLO, e.g. journal articles and book reviews. The most important databases for the study of Celtic languages and literature are:

Electronic full-text editions

See the relevant sub-category Celtic on Databases A-Z . Examples are: