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Philosophy: Home

Purpose of this guide

This guide is intended for students studying Philosophy at the University of Oxford, although any students working in this field may find it useful.  

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


Hilla Wait (Philosophy Subject Librarian)

Philosophy & Theology Faculties Library

Subject specific LibGuides

There are lots of LibGuides to explore! The following are related to your area of study:

Other links

Bodleian iSkills and other Workshops: Information skills, accessing resources, open access and more. These workshops are aimed at researchers, academic staff, research students and librarians from across the University.

Faculty of Philosophy: Oxford is one of the world's great centres for philosophy. There are over 50 full-time permanent members of the Faculty of Philosophy, each with a college Fellowship, together with a still larger number of associate members, between them covering a vast range of subjects within philosophy.

The Centre for the Study of Greek and Roman Antiquity: The centre was set up in 1993 as a focus for the College's various postgraduate activities in classical research.

Libraries & Reading Rooms: Principal collections

Library resources in Philosophy are provided at the Bodleian Library and the Philosophy and Theology Faculties Library.

The Philosophy and Theology Faculties Library is the main lending library for Philosophy at Oxford for both taught courses and research. The library purchases almost all its holdings and multiple copies are provided of frequently-used books.

The Bodleian Library is the University's largest library, holding the Legal Deposit collection of UK copyright books and journals; its holdings exceed several million books. It also purchases extensively from outside the UK. The most frequently used philosophy books are housed in the Philosophy Reading Room of the Lower Reading Room, Old Bodleian Library. Books at the Bodleian are for library use only and cannot be borrowed. Extensive off-site stacks house less commonly used books that you may order to library reading rooms.

The Bodleian also provides extensive manuscript and incunable holdings, from ancient philosophy to the modern era. In the field of early modern philosophy, the Library's outstanding collection is that of John Locke (1632-1704). Also notable are two manuscript drafts of Wittgenstein's Tractatus logico-philosophicus, and papers from other modern philosophers such as A.J. Ayer, Isaiah Berlin, and R.G. Collingwood. For more information see the Special Collections pages.

Libraries & Reading Rooms: Other collections

Some texts on the Philosophy of Science, Mathematics, Logic and Psychology are located in the Radcliffe Science Library. Jurisprudence (Philosophy of Law) is located at the Bodleian Law Library.

For Oriental philosophy, see the Oriental Institute and China Centre Library, and for further texts on Jewish philosophy, see the Leopold Muller Memorial Library.

Other subject libraries, for example the Social Science Library, the History Faculty Library, the Taylor Institution Library (modern languages), and the Sackler (classics) may also hold material of interest to philosophers.

All of these libraries' collections can be searched via SOLO.

Important eResources

Oxford's electronic philosophy resources may be accessed through Databases A-Z, which is accessible on any computer on the University network, and remotely for those with an Oxford Single-Sign On.

e-Journals A-Z provides access to the many online Philosophy periodicals to which Oxford subscribes.

Oxford subcribes to various relevant databases, such as Philosopher's Index and ATLA (the American Theological Library Association). There are extensive online resources for primary and secondary philosophy texts, for example, Perseus, Past Masters, Oxford Scholarship Online, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy and many more. (See the Philosophy menu in Databases A-Z for a full list of philosophy e-resources).