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The Rare Books room contains an extensive collection of reference works on book history, bibliography and other relevant subjects. The volumes are arranged around the room clockwise, beginning on the right hand side of the staff desk. The sequence continues in the glassed-off teaching space. Large format volumes with size indicator .a are shelved below the windows and are not always directly next to the main run. Maps are available on the staff desk and by the windows; if you need any assistance locating a book, please ask any member of staff.

The image at the head of the page shows Henry Bradshaw's sketch map of the classification of the Library in the mid-nineteenth century when it was housed in the Old Schools, prior to the move to the current building in 1934.  

B1-90 General reference books

  • 10 Religion

  • 25 Law

  • 45 Biography; heraldry

  • 50 History and antiquities

  • 60 Geography

  • 70 Literature and language

  • 78 Language dictionaries

  • 85 Libraries: guides and directories

B100-197 Bibliographies; booklists; library catalogues

  • 100 Comprehensive library catalogues

  • 110-119 Incunabula

    • 110 Bibliographies and union catalogues

    • 111 Single collections

    • 112-118 Bibliographies by country of origin

    • 119 Microform collections

  • 120-197 Books published after 1500

    • 120 Bibliographies and union catalogues

    • 125-144 Bibliographies by country of origin

      • 125 England

        • 125:1 1475-1640

        • 125:2 1641-1700

        • 125:3 1701-1800

        • 125:4 1801-

      • 126 Scotland

      • 127 Wales

      • 128 Ireland

      • 130 Germany

      • 131 Italy

      • 132 France

      • 133 Spain and Portugal

      • 134 Low Countries

      • 135 Scandinavia

      • 136 Russia

      • 137 Other European countries

      • 140 North America

      • 141 South and Central America

      • 142 Africa

      • 143 Asia

      • 144 Australasia

    • 150 Subject bibliographies, arranged according to the 3 figures scheme

    • 151 Author bibliographies, arranged alphabetically

    • 160-179 Bibliographies of specific kinds of printing

      • 161 Broadsides

      • 168 Children's books

      • 170 Newspapers and journals

    • 180-191 Bibliographies of illustrated books

    • 195 Catalogues of private libraries (not restricted to one subject)

    • 197 Exhibition catalogues (not restricted to one subject)

B200-208 Bibliographical theory and applications

  • 200 History of bibliography

  • 201 Indexes of bibliographical papers

  • 202 Evolution of the printed book

  • 203 General manuals of bibliography

  • 204 Miscellanies

  • 205 Festschriften and collected essays

  • 206 Bibliographical description

  • 207 Textual bibliography

  • 208 Shakespeare

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B210-990 Historical bibliography

  • 210-238 General histories of book production

    • 210 Bibliographies of printing

    • 211 Encyclopaedias; dictionaries; annals

    • 212 General studies

    • 214 Typographical gazetteers

    • 215 Printing house practice

    • 217 Dictionaries of technical terms

    • 218 Special aspects

    • 220-228 From the invention of printing to ca. 1825

      • 220 General studies

      • 221 Documents and records

      • 222 Printers' marks; typographical gazetteers

      • 223-226 Printing house practice

      • 227 Proof reading & proof correction

      • 228 Special aspects

    • 230-238 ca. 1825 onwards

      • 230 General studies

      • 231 Documents and records

      • 232 Typographical gazetteers

      • 233-236 Printing house practice

      • 237 Proof reading & proof correction

      • 238 Special aspects

  • 240-256 Incunabula [for bibliographies see B110-118]

    • 240 General studies

    • 241 Type identification

    • 242 Special topics

    • 249 Antecedents and beginnings of printing; block-books

    • 250-256 Local studies, by country

      • 250 Germany, including German-speaking Switzerland

        • 250:2 Gutenberg

      • 251 Italy

      • 252 France, including French-speaking Switzerland

      • 253 Low Countries

      • 254 Spain and Portugal

      • 255 England

        • 255:2 Caxton

      • 256 Others

  • 260-553 Book production in individual countries after 1500

    • 260 England

      • General surveys

        • 261 Documents and records

        • 262 Printers' marks; typographical gazetteers

        • 263 Dictionaries of the book trade

        • 264 Printing house practice

        • 265 Proof reading & proof correction

        • 266 Special aspects, including private printing

      • 270-276 ca 1500-ca 1700

        • [divided as above

      • 280-286 ca 1700-ca 1825

        • [divided as above

      • 290-296 ca 1825 onwards

        • [divided as above

    • 300 Scotland

    • 301 Wales

    • 302 Ireland

    • 310-339 Germany, including German-speaking Switzerland and Austro-Hungary

    • 340-369 Italy

    • 370-399 France, including French-speaking Switzerland

    • 400-429 Spain and Portugal

    • 430-459 Low Countries

    • 460-489 Scandinavia

    • 490-519 Russia

    • 520 Other European countries

    • 530-544 North America

    • 550 South and Central America; West Indies

    • 551 Africa

    • 552 Asia

    • 553 Australasia

B600-695 Bookbinding

  • 600 Practical manuals

  • 601-604 Binding materials

  • 605 Conservation & repair

  • 610 General studies; catalogues; picture books

  • 611-13 History of binding and binding styles

    • 611 To ca 1600

    • 612 ca 1600-ca 1825

    • 613 ca 1825 onwards

  • 619 The bookjacket

  • 620-680 History of 'fine' binding, by country

    • 620-623 England

    • 624 Ireland

    • 630-633 Germany

    • 640-643 Italy

    • 650-653 France

    • 660-663 Spain and Portugal

    • 670-673 Low Countries

    • 680 Others

  • 690-695 History of trade binding

B700-725 Type; typefaces; type-founding; printing ink
[for type identification in incunabula see B241]

  • 700 Catalogues and lists of type specimens

  • 701 General studies

  • 705-6 Studies of type and typefounders

    • 705 England

    • 706 Other countries

  • 707 Punchcutting; casting

  • 710-712 Flowers

  • 713-719 Special kinds of type

  • 720 Initial letters

  • 725 Printing ink

B730-757 Paper and paper-making

  • 730 Dictionaries and glossaries

  • 731 History of paper and the paper trade

    • 732 England

    • 733 Other countries

  • 735-737 Handmade paper

  • 740-742 Machine-made paper

  • 750-752 Watermarks, catalogues

  • 755-757 Watermarks, monographs

B760-791 Book illustration 
[for bibliographies of illustrated books, see B150-191]

  • 760 General works

  • 761 Techniques of illustration

  • 763-764 General catalogues

  • 765-791 Illustration in individual countries

    • 765-769 England

    • 770-774 Germany

    • 775-779 Italy

    • 780-784 France

    • 785 Spain and Portugal

    • 786 Low Countries

    • 787 Scandinavia

    • 788 Russia

    • 789 Other European countries

    • 790 North America

    • 791 Others

B800-852 Publishing and distribution

  • 800 General studies; trade organization

    • 801 England

    • 802 Other countries

  • 805-807 Government printing and publishing

  • 810-812 University publishing

  • 815-817 Publishing societies; book clubs

  • 820-822 Publishing by subscription

  • 825-827 Serial and part publishing

  • 830-832 Newspapers and journals

  • 835-837 Authors and authorship; patronage; dedications

  • 840-842 Censorship

  • 845-848 Forgeries

    • 847 T.J. Wise

  • 850-852 Books and readers

B860-945 Bookselling and book collecting; libraries

  • 860-863 Bookselling

  • 865-867 Book prices

  • 870-890 Book collecting

    • 870 General studies

    • 872 Dictionaries of collectors

    • 873 Marks of ownership; bookplates; book stamps

    • 874-875 Book sales and auctions

    • 880-885 Book collecting and collectors

      • 880 England

      • 890 Other countries

  • 895-897 Bibliophile societies

  • 900-946 Libraries

    • 900 General historical studies

    • 910 English libraries

      • 920 British Museum/Library

      • 921-922 Oxford

      • 925-926 Cambridge

    • 940 Other countries

B990 Bibliographical series