About the Bodleian Library
One of the great libraries of the world, the Bodleian is a working library which forms part of the University of Oxford. First opened to scholars in 1602, it incorporates an earlier library erected by the University in the fifteenth century to house books donated by Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester. As the largest university library in the UK, and one of five legal deposit libraries, the Library holds millions of printed items as well as manuscripts.
In its reading rooms, generations of famous scholars have studied through the ages, among them five kings, 40 Nobel Prize winners, 26 prime ministers and writers including Oscar Wilde, CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien.
The Library is located in a remarkable group of buildings which forms the historic heart of the University, and you can explore the quadrangles of these magnificent structures free of charge. Our tours explore our beautiful and historic interiors, which have intricate painted and carved ceilings.
View two stunning panoramas of the historic Bodleian Libraries here.
Options for Visitors
These options are offered subject to availability. Parts of the site may be closed for University ceremonies and functions. We are open to visitors seven days a week, on most days of the year. See our opening times.
For up to date information contact the Venue Services Team on: Tel: +44 (0)1865 287400
Champagne Evening Tours on Sunday 23 March from 7–9pm
The Bodleian is inviting up to 80 guests to an exclusive evening event after the Library is closed, including champagne and canapés in the dramatic 15th Century Divinity School.
During the evening, experienced guides will take groups of guests to see inside the oldest part of the library, the atmospheric Duke Humfrey’s Library, and to the stately Upper Reading Rooms. There will also be several historic books (from the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries) on display.
Tickets are £45 per person and can be purchased online by clicking University Online Store (opens in new window).
Please note that the online booking facility closes at 12 noon on 21 March 2014. Places may still be available, and you can find out by telephoning 00 44 (0)1865 287400 (09.00-17.00).
Also available as a Gift Voucher. Please call 01865 287400 for further information.
Options for Visitors
Explore the historic quadrangles. (No charge)
Visit the Exhibition Room or our special displays to see treasures from the Libraries' magnificent collections. See our What's On pages for information. (No charge)
Visit the Divinity School, the first teaching room and the earliest examination hall of the University. (Charge applies)
Visit the Bodleian Shop. (No charge for admission)