Ask a Librarian

If you have a question about the collections and services of the Bodleian Libraries and are:

  • a current member of Oxford University
  • a current member of the Bodleian Libraries
  • a former member of the Bodleian Libraries needing to use the libraries
  • an external enquirer needing information specifically about or held by the Bodleian Libraries

then Ask an Oxford Librarian. Please check your frequently asked questions for immediate answers.

Through Ask an Oxford Librarian you can contact Oxford University’s main research and teaching libraries, including the Bodleian Library, Bodleian Law Library, Radcliffe Science Library, Sackler Library, Social Science Library and Taylor Institution Library.

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What will you use this information for?

e.g. private research, an undergraduate essay, research for a book.

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Your question will be sent to the most appropriate librarian, who will contact you directly by email. If you have difficulty using the form, please let us know, and send us your enquiry by:

  • email:  reader.services@bodleian.ox.ac.uk
  • post:  Main Enquiry Desk, Bodleian Library, Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3BG
  • fax:  01865 277182 (+44 1865 277182 from outside the United Kingdom)
  • telephone:  01865 277162 (+44 1865 277162 from outside the United Kingdom)

Please note that we would prefer to receive more complex enquiries in writing; this ensures that we understand the details of your enquiry correctly and that we can devote a sufficient amount of time to the answer.

Notes on the service

Ask an Oxford Librarian is an enquiry service provided by the Bodleian Libraries. We will respond promptly, usually within three working days (Monday to Friday), and often within 24 hours. More complex enquiries may take longer to answer where it is necessary to consult several sources and/or colleagues.

We will respond within five full working days of the receipt of an enquiry for at least 90% of correspondence, but in all cases within ten full working days of the receipt of an enquiry. Full working days are Monday to Friday except for the Easter and Christmas/New Year closure periods.

This service is provided for registered users of the Bodleian Libraries. We are also happy to respond to reference enquiries from external users only when they relate to Bodleian Libraries' collections and services. Please note that we are not able to undertake detailed research on behalf of enquirers.

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