All Souls has reclaimed two buildings in London after the local council closed library branches at the sites.
The college donated the land for Cricklewood and Kensal Rise libraries in 1854, with the legal obligation that they be used for libraries.
The council has been criticised by residents’ groups who are attempting to re-open the libraries as community-run projects. Although All Souls have stated they would be “delighted” for such a project to be carried out, residents believe it may be commercially impossible.
The college said: “We regret that these buildings have been handed back to us as we have now acquired two buildings that we did not want. It was our intention for Brent to keep these buildings as libraries.
“However, as we are a charity our main focus now has to be on what will benefit All Souls College and we will be undertaking discussions in the future to determine the best route to take.”