All Souls College

Architectural drawings by Wren, Hawskmoor and others, from the Library at All Souls College, Oxford.

The College of All Souls of the Faithful Departed was established in 1438 by Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury, with King Henry VI as its formal co-founder. Chichele decided that the College should have books and a library from the very outset. In its first years, the College set about accumulating a good all-around working collection for those working in the higher faculties of theology, law, and medicine. Other subjects came also to be represented through donation and acquisition, among them the history of England and Italian humanism.

Today, the Library has c.185,000 volumes, about a third of which were printed before 1800, as well as collections of archives relating to the College's estates and history, manuscripts dating from the 11th to the 20th century - and the architectural drawings digitized here, which include designs by Christopher Wren for St Paul's Cathedral.