Memorial Library

The Memorial Library holds over 22,000 non-fiction titles covering all disciplines, 7,500 fiction titles and a huge selection of modern DVDs and music. Periodicals and newspapers for a range of subjects are available in the Library’s Study Hub, along with back issues of up to two years for most of our paper periodicals. Additionally, the Library subscribes to over 40 online resources, including periodicals, academic journals and databases. We are also responsible for the cataloguing and maintenance of the College’s departmental libraries, which hold a further 12,000 books.

The Library offers a variety of spaces for different activities, from the Reading Room, where pupils can curl up on a sofa or a beanbag with a good book, and the Study Hub, which functions as both a teaching space and collaborative study area, to the Memorial Library itself, a space for quiet, independent study.

Academic literacy support is an integral part of the Library service. Resources covering topics such as plagiarism, research techniques, referencing and more are all available through the Library’s Firefly pages. All new members of the College are given a Library induction to introduce them to the space, staff and resources available. We offer one-to-one research sessions for pupils in support of large projects such as the EPQ or a piece of coursework, or even a single prep.

The Library runs clubs, challenges and events aimed at engaging pupils with reading and the wider world of literature, from our internationally themed World Book Day Buffet, to Harry Potter Book Night and Read-O-Rama.

The Library seeks to support the educational, pastoral and co-curricular aims of Marlborough College by providing a physical and spiritual centre of teaching, learning and reading for pleasure. The service we provide aims to enable pupils to develop as confident library users and independent scholars, and prepares them for further study and higher education. The Library enriches the curricular experiences of all pupils by providing a broad range of resources, both in terms of format and content, as well as the knowledge required to access, analyse and make use of these materials.

The Library is a popular and well-used resource with a welcoming atmosphere aimed at building a pupil’s engagement with literature and encouraging independent study. Library staff have worked hard to create an environment that is friendly and positive for all pupils, and regularly seek feedback to ensure that we continue to provide the best possible service to all members of the College community.

Marlborough College holds an important and significant collection of rare books and manuscripts ranging in date from the 15th century to modern times. Among its many treasures are the Marlborough College Book of Hours, a medieval illuminated manuscript, exemplars of fine early printing by Aldus, Froben and Plantin, rich holdings of literary, theological and historical works from the 16th to 18th centuries, and many important mathematical and scientific works from the Renaissance to the Victorian era. Among the latter stand Newton’s Principia Mathematica, early alchemy books, hand-painted Victorian zoological guides and first editions of Darwin’s works.

Other particular strengths of the collection include antiquarian volumes on Wiltshire, a wealth of Arts and Crafts books inspired by former Marlburian, William Morris, and fine press books of the 20th century, including many items from the Marlborough College Press. The Rare Book collection is a key part of the College’s cultural heritage, and its books and manuscripts remain available to staff and pupils for use and consultation.

You can explore Rare Books at Marlborough by clicking here.