Can I use the libraries?


How can I access the Bodleian Libraries (including the Bodleian)?

Guidance on how to apply for admission to the Bodleian Libraries, including the Bodleian, and an application form, are given by the Admissions Office pages.

Staff and students of Oxford University can access all of the Bodleian Libraries with their University card. Please consult the libraries page for information about admission to other Oxford libraries.

I am an alumnus of Oxford University. How can I renew my Bodleian ticket?

To obtain a new library card (which will give access to all those libraries holding Bodleian material) you will need to make a short visit to the Admissions Office. Please consult the Admissions Office pages for more information.

I am an undergraduate at another UK university. Can I use the Bodleian Libraries?

Undergraduates from other universities are normally only admitted during Oxford University vacations, as priority has to be given to the needs of Oxford students. Further information about access to the libraries and an application form are given at the Admissions Office pages.

Please contact the Admissions Office directly (contact details are given by their webpages).

I am undertaking research which means that I need to consult manuscript or early printed material. What do I need to do to gain access to such material?

A complete and successful application, including both the required reference and corroboration of your need to use manuscript or early printed material, is necessary in order to be granted a manuscript and rare book (A) level of access to our collections. This is not a requirement that can be waived or suspended and the application itself will only be processed once you have arrived at the library. Fuller information, and an application form, can be found in the Admissions Office pages. You may address specific questions related to the application process, including requests for a written evaluation of the likelihood of the success of your application, to:

So that material is ready for you to consult on your arrival in the library, up to six advance orders for manuscripts or early printed books (to include any associated modern printed items) can be placed by contacting:

Your access to these items is dependent upon your application being approved for manuscript and rare book consultation.

Additional criteria apply to undergraduates wishing to consult manuscripts or early printed books. Please contact for advice.

I need to use the Bodleian Libraries and intend to apply for membership. Will all the items I need be available for me to consult when I arrive?

Please remember that over 80% of our material is held in our closed access stack areas, including all manuscript material, and rare and early printed books. Material cannot be retrieved from the stacks at short notice or at weekends. Some items will take up to three working days to fetch, as they are held in warehouses outside Oxfordshire.

Please contact us via Ask an Oxford Librarian, or by using, at least four working days before your visit to the Bodleian Libraries, to request up to six advance orders. Please send advance orders for manuscript items (and any associated printed material, up to a maximum of six orders) to Ask an Oxford Librarian or to

To make the most of membership of our libraries, we suggest that on arrival in Oxford, new readers ask staff in the library to demonstrate the catalogue and stack request system. If you intend to use the central Bodleian, please ask at the Bodleian Main Enquiry Desk, in the Lower Reading Room of the Old Bodleian Library (see map). We also provide Making the Most of the Bodleian Library sessions, especially for our new readers.

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