How do I find what I need?

Library catalogues and electronic resources

How can I find out which books are held in your library?

The online catalogue for the Bodleian Libraries is called SOLO: Search Oxford Libraries Online. Links to guides and video tutorials are available from the SOLO homepage. Enter your search into the 'Oxford Collections' search box. You can refine your search using the menus below and filter the subsequent results by the suggested categories displayed to the left of your search results. You can filter results by location, including Bodleian Library open-shelf locations. To find out where a book is held, click 'Locations' for the item. If 'Bodleian Library' appears in the list, click the + icon to display the book's sub-location and status.

I have the found the title of the book I want on SOLO, but don’t know where it is.

Please consult this full list of library locations used in SOLO.

Please note that it is likely that you will not be able to access many of the libraries given in this list. Basic admissions policies are given on each library’s information page.

I have heard that most of your books are kept in warehouses, and have to be ordered. How can I tell the difference between books already in the libraries and those in these warehouses?

Only about 20% of the books of the Bodleian Libraries are available on open access in the libraries themselves ("open shelf books”). The remainder are kept in an offsite depository referred to in SOLO as "closed stack". The open shelf books are the ones our expert librarians believe will be most helpful to our readers. Items on open shelves will have the status "available" and an "open shelves" sub-location. Items in the offsite depository have the status "closed stack".

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 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 Bodleian Library Induction Sessions and Making the Most of the Radcliffe Science Library sessions, especially for our new readers.

I am trying to make a request from 'closed stack', but I don’t know how to sign-in.

If you are a current University member, you 'sign on' to SOLO using your University Single Sign On (SSO), which will have been issued to you by your college or faculty. It is also what you use to access college or departmental email. Click the option "Oxford SSO" in the Sign On area at the top right of a SOLO page.


If you are a 'non-member' of the University (this includes Oxford alumni), you sign on to SOLO with your Library Account. The username for your Library Account is the number which appears above the barcode on your Bodleian reader's card. The password, by default, is your date of birth, in the following format (without spaces):


• the two numbers of the day
• the first three letters of the month (in capital letters)
• the full four numbers of the year

So if you were born on 8th August 1975, your password would be 08AUG1975.


This default password is temporary; it will expire after six weeks of your reader's card being issued and should be reset before that time. In order to reset your password, go to and follow the instructions for creating a new password.

If you are a current University member but do not know your SSO, you can also sign on to SOLO with your Library Account details. If you have tried both these alternatives and are still having problems, please Ask an Oxford Librarian, or contact (Tel:01865 277162). 

Your Library Account details are also used for logging on to PCs in the Bodleian reading rooms, and for logging on to the 'Bodleian Libraries' wireless network.

I am trying to order a journal part on SOLO: how do I specify the part I want?

First click "Locations" for the item, not "Request". If necessary, click the + icon by "Bodleian Library" to display more holdings information. Individual parts of the journal should display in a list, each with its own hold request option (when you are signed on), if the part has the status "closed stack". If the part is available in the Locations display, and you place a hold request against this part, there is no need to specify the specific part you want again in the Request window.

I am trying to access an electronic journal, but I am being asked for a login and password (I am within the Oxford University network). How can I see the article I need?

Please look the journal up using the Oxford University e-Journals service.

This will indicate whether Oxford subscribes to the particular issue you need to consult. If Oxford does subscribe to the issue, but you are still having problems, please inform our e-Journals helpdesk:

How can I access electronic resources from outside the library and the Oxford University network?

Current members of the University (blue card holders) may access most resources using their University Single Sign On (SSO) account, or by registering with the Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. More details are given at the remote access page.

Members of the Bodleian Libraries (holders of other colour cards) may access most resources when in the libraries, but not remotely, due to licensing restrictions.


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