The Chantry Library began life as the library of the Institute of Paper Conservation (IPC). After an initial period based at the India Office, it was re-established in the Conservation Department of the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford, under the management of Judith Chantry (1943-1999), paper conservator at the Ashmolean and qualified librarian.

In 2001 the Oxford Conservation Consortium (OCC) moved to a purpose-built studio at Grove Cottage, Oxford. The Chantry Library also moved to Grove Cottage, supported by a generous bequest from the Chantry family, and still under the ownership of IPC. In 2005, IPC merged with other conservation bodies to form the Institute of Conservation (Icon), and ownership of the Chantry Library passed to Icon. In 2014, the library was closed by Icon. On 23rd Feb 2016, Icon and OCC announced that OCC would be the new owner of the Library.

On 1st August  2016, the Chantry Library reopened to readers.

The Chantry Librarian is Mastan Ebtehaj.