The Codrington Library is, like all College Libraries, an independent institution. Its modern collections are particularly strong in law and history, especially the history of Britain and early modern Europe, and military history. Philosophy, sociology, and the history of science are also well represented.
The Library welcomes applications for admission (supported by a letter of recommendation from tutor or supervisor) by law and history undergraduates, and graduate students of the University of Oxford. Junior members in other faculties may also apply for admission. The Library issues its own library cards; the Bodleian card is in itself not sufficient to secure entry to the Library.
The early collections, accessible by appointment to bona fide scholars, are rich in almost every subject, and supported by a growing collection of books on bibliography and book history.
The Library is in the process of having all its books catalogued on to universally accessible electronic resources. For the early collections (up to 1801), this is well on the way to completion (see ESTC and SOLO). All books which have entered the Library since 1990 are on SOLO. The ongoing project of cataloguing the holdings in the period 1801-1988 is well advanced, but readers will still have to consult in the card catalogue to discover whether the Library has certain books acquired in this period.