Bodley's American Friends

Welcome to the Home Page of Bodley's American Friends - a group of people living in the United States, and Americans living elsewhere, who provide support for the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

The Bodleian is one of the greatest libraries of advanced study and research in the world. For centuries it has served hundreds of thousands of Oxford students and academics, and countless international scholars. Opening its doors in 1602, through the remarkable efforts of Sir Thomas Bodleiy, it was the first major public library in Britain. From the time of its foundation the Bodleian has looked for support from individuals who care about learning, and who believe in the importance of a first-class library.

Benefits of Membership in Bodley's American Friends

Membership of Bodley's American Friends entails an annual subscription. A renewal form will be sent annually.

$50 a year

  • Two issues per year of the Friends' Newsletter with articles about the Library's work, new developments, acquisitions, and the activities of Bodley's American Friends;
  • On presentation of a current membership card, a discount on the price of a reader's ticket for the Library, subject to the Library's normal admission requirements;
    A reader's ticket entitles the holder to:
    • Use of the Bodleian and its network of specialist libraries including the Law Library, the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House, the Japanese Library, the Vere Harmsworth Library and the Radcliffe Science Library;
    • Obtain information and advice about the Bodleian's collections and services, including the use of the online catalogue; and
    • Order books and other materials from the stacks by contacting the Library in advance of a visit.
  • Opportunities to meet the Bodleian's librarians, and other Friends who share an interest in books;
  • Free place on a standard tour of the Old Bodleian Library.  Special extended tour of the Library for groups by prior arrangement;
  • A 10% discount on items purchased from the Bodleian Library shop (except on books not published by the Bodleian). 
  • Pass obtainable from the Admissions Office enabling members to take a guest to visit the Arts End of Duke Humfrey's Library;
  • Invitations to occasional events for Friends held in the U.S.A.;
  • Friends are welcome to attend private views of exhibitions at the Bodleian, lunchtime lectures about the Library and other events organised for Friends, should they be in Oxford; and
  • Invitation to the Annual General Meeting at the Sheldonian theatre with talks by Bodley's Librarian and a guest speaker, afternoon tea, and an exhibition of books and manuscripts purchased with the help of the Friends.

$80 a year

Friends who take out a Dual Membership are entitled to all of the benefits of individual membership listed above, for two people at the same address.

Unless you wish otherwise, we will send only one copy of the Newsletter and other communications to the household.

$110 a year

An Honourable Friend is entiteld to the all of the benefits of individual membership listed above, and a subscription to the Bodleian Library Record.  This scholarly journal, published twice a year, contains articles on literary, historical and bibliographical topics, including those concerned with the Library's collections.

The term Honourable Friend was first used by Sir Thomas Bodley. He hoped that his example would "stir up other men's benevolence", for he recognized that without a "great store of honourable Friends" his new foundation would be only, as he put it, "a vain attempt and inconsiderate".

How to join Bodley's American Friends

To become a member of the Friends, please download, complete and return the membership application form with your check payable to "American Trust for Oxford University" to:

Ralph H. Smith II
American Trust for Oxford University
8229 Boone Boulevard, Suite 240
Vienna, VA 22182

You may become an annual member by giving to the American Trust for Oxford University. Contributions to the Trust are tax-deductible within the limits prescribed by the US Internal Revenue Code. To maintain the deductible status of gifts, US law requires that the Board of Directors retains control and discretion concerning grants to Oxford. Although gifts to the Trust must be unrestricted, the Board of Directors will certainly consider the specific wishes of contributors.

The American Trust for Oxford University can accept tax-deductible gifts from foundations that have been established by business corporations. Gifts made to the American Trust for Oxford University directly from business corporations are generally not deductible as charitable contributions.

When the Bodleian is notified by the Trust of your first year's subscription, it will send you a membership card, and a copy of the most recent Newsletter. You will be able to continue paying your subscription in the same way in the future. The Library will write to you each year, enclosing a renewal form.

Contact Bodley's American Friends

Mailing Address (UK) The Administrator
Bodley's American Friends
The Bodleian Library
Oxford OX1 3BG
United Kingdom
Telephone (UK) from the U.S.A. 011 44 1865 277234
Subscription Address (U.S.A.)

Ralph H. Smith II
American Trust for Oxford University
8229 Boone Boulevard, Suite 240
Vienna, VA 22182

Telephone (U.S.A.) (866) 746-0283

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