The Wycliffe Library has long been a cherished part of the institution, and has moved around over the years as it outgrew various rooms, finally arriving in Old Lodge at the turn of the 1970s. (The first recorded need for a larger library space was noted in the College Minute Book of 1932).
By virtue of being principally an undergraduate level collection, there are no Gutenberg Bibles unfortunately, but there are a few early editions: PARR The Works of…Elnathan Parr (1651); GURNALL The Christian in Complete Armour (1679); LATIMER The Sermons of …Master Hugh Latimer (1758), and KENNICOTT, Benjamin Vetus Testamentum Hebraicum…(1776).
Steady collecting resulted in an ever-larger card catalogue, but the advent of computerisation in the late 1990s meant that a digital catalogue could be so much more easily searched, and so the Heritage system was purchased in 1999, and the long process of RetroCon began (the retrospective conversion of card records to computerised records).
The RetroCon Project has now been largely completed, and all new books are added directly to the online catalogue. This means that they may be searched for by author, title, subject, keyword, classmark, etc., etc., and thus be much easier to find. There are approximately 25,000 books in the collection.
The incorporation of the Hall into the Oxford University system in 1997 meant that students now had unfettered access to the Bodleian catalogue (now in excess of twelve million items), and borrowing privileges at some libraries, e.g. the Philosophy and Theology Faculties Library, now housed in the former Radcliffe Infirmary.
In addition to this, students acquired access to the several hundred online databases bought by the Bodleian, particularly ATLA (a comprehensive database of theological articles dating back to the 1940s).
In the last few years the Library has struggled to find space to shelve its ever-burgeoning collections adequately. During summer 2017, major works were carried out in the Library to resolve the storage issue, with the construction of an internal staircase connecting the upper and lower ground floors, and the installation of mobile shelving, effectively increasing book storage by almost half, and enlarging student study spaces.