Oberlin College Library

Oberlin College Library

Students at Oberlin have access to superior library resources. The recipient of a prestigious award for excellence in academic libraries, the Oberlin College Library has one of the largest and finest undergraduate collections in the nation.

The main library, housed in Seely G. Mudd Center, remains busy with academic and social activities and the structure and amenities of its Academic Commons encourages community and collaboration. In addition, three specialized libraries are devoted to art, music, and science. All four libraries offer strong collections, extensive electronic access to databases and journals, and excellent reference staff. 

Total holdings for the library system exceed 2.4 million items. In addition, the OhioLINK library and information consortium provides access to more than 48 million volumes from 89 institutions in Ohio.


Conservatory Library

The music library is among the oldest and largest in any academic setting, with more than 270,000 items. Collections include more than 80,000 sound recordings, 127,00 musical scores, 63,000 books, and 210 periodical titles. These cover Western art music from all historical periods, complete editions of the works of major composers, as well as growing collections in the areas of women musicians and American, ethnic, contemporary, jazz, folk, and popular music. Students can access recordings in a variety of media formats at any one of 43 listening carrels.

See the Conservatory Library home page.

Main Library, Mudd Center

Mudd LibraryThe Oberlin College Library is the primary location for materials in the humanities and social sciences. Part of the Seely G. Mudd Center, the library also houses interdisciplinary and general interest works, archives and special collections, and the mathematics and computer science collections. Administrative offices and most library technical services are located here.

The Academic Commons on the main floor of Seely G. Mudd Center is a hub for sharing research and information. It's also the place to access technology, reference, and learning assistance. Its major features include 29 workstations (for individual or group study), printers, scanners, an electronic classroom, and multimedia stations with video editing. Adding to its appeal as a gathering spot for Oberlin's academic community is Azariah's Cafe, which sells a variety of coffees, pastries, and healthy snacks.

Science Library

Science Center Library InteriorIn 2001, the college opened a spacious library devoted to astronomy, biochemistry, biology, botany, chemistry, geology, neuroscience, physics, and zoology. Also well represented are related subjects in agriculture, medicine, technology, science education, and history of science. Students and faculty have access to more than 109,000 volumes, 176 periodical titles, and thousands of online scientific journals.

See the science library home page. 


Clarence Ward Art Library

A visual feast for those who love art and the creative process, the library has more than 100,000 books, exhibition catalogs, and bound periodicals, as well as about 250 journals. The collection includes architecture, painting, sculpture, prints and drawings, new media, photography, and the decorative arts. Materials on anthropology, archeology, and landscape architecture are also available here. The library is on the top floor of the Allen Memorial Art Museum and named for Clarence Ward, director from 1917 to 1948.

See the art library home page.