Gladstone Link

Gladstone Link

The Gladstone Link houses a large interdiscplinary collection of open access material. This area also links the Old Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe Camera, connecting the reading rooms in these buildings, and offers 120 extra reader spaces, as well as facilities such as reader terminals and photocopiers. It also holds significant amounts of the History Faculty Library main lending collection, which have now been consolidated on the upper level.

The Gladstone Link offers an informal study environment, with a variety of furniture types including group study tables in corners or behind acoustic screens that provide opportunities for quiet discussion and group work.

Readers are encouraged to make use of mobile devices or listen to audio through leak-proof headphones. However, readers do need to be aware that this is still a study space. The lobbies are more suitable spaces for moderate phone calls or conversations. (Readers who prefer silent spaces will find the historic reading rooms retain their traditional feel).

The Gladstone Link's opening hours vary between term and vacation. The Link closes 45 minutes before the rest of the library to allow secure and effective closing procedures. Readers can move upstairs with any material of interest and enjoy the remaining open period of the reading rooms in the Old Library or Radcliffe Camera. The Radcliffe Camera and Gladstone Link will be open on Sundays in Full Term.


This space is situated between the Old Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera. It is accessible from:

  • the Old Bodleian Library via the North stairs or the lift in the nearby coat and bag lobby;
  • the Radcliffe Camera via the Lower Camera reading room.

Enquiries and contact information


There is no formal service point in the Gladstone Link. Library staff do provide roving support in the Link, however, and between helping readers with queries, these staff can be contacted at the Help Point on the Upper Level of the Gladstone Link. Readers will also find support from members of library staff shelving material in the area who will be able to give basic assistance with, for example, finding material within the Link. For more complicated queries, the nearest service point is in the Lower Camera.

If you require on-the-spot assistance please use the emergency telephone (one located on both levels of the Gladstone Link by the red lobby, adjacent to the Radcliffe Camera).

Please note that the full range of services is only offered from the Lower Camera from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and that after 5pm on weekdays and at the weekend staff may refer particular enquiries to the Main Enquiry Desk, or to daytime staff.

Information on the services and facilities offered for readers with disabilities can be found on the accessibility information page.

Using the collections

The material in the Gladstone Link is identified on SOLO, the library catalogue, as Gladstone Link Open Shelves. Material from the Gladstone Link can be taken and used in the Old Library and Camera reading rooms, if desired. There will be a trolley in each reading room where Gladstone Link material can be left. It will be returned to the Link and reshelved each day to ensure its continued availability to as many readers as possible.

The material in the Gladstone Link consists of:

  • high-use material which has been selected on the basis of previous use by readers, denoted on SOLO by the prefix 'UBHU';
  • recent acquisitions offering access to the majority of the last three years of the Bodleian Library's acquisitions in Humanities;
  • the Po Chung Personal Development Collection (a small Bodleian lending collection);
  • the Slavonic History Reference Collection.
  • part of the History Faculty Library's main lending collection, which is also shelved in the Lower Camera reading room.

The Gladstone Link consists of two levels, the Upper Level and the Lower Level.

The Upper Level houses:

  • a weekly new book display;
  • the continuation of the History Faculty Library's main lending collection, which begins in the Lower Camera.

The Lower Level houses: 

  • selected recent Bodleian acquisitions in Humanities;
  • high-usage: UBHU (Nicholson up to 1987 and M.88-M.10 (1988-2010);  
  • Humanities journals (relocated from the Upper and Lower Reading Rooms) 
  • The Slavonic History Reference Collection (recently transferred from the Taylor Bodleian Slavonic Library)
  • the Po Chung Personal Development Collection.


Apart from the Nicholson sequence, the Personal Development Collection (the latter arranged by Library of Congress classification) and the Slavonic History Reference Collection, Bodleian Library material in the Gladstone Link is arranged in shelfmark order, principally by year of intake (e.g. M.98 = 1998), then by size. (Note: on the Lower Level, large items, sizes 'l', 'a', 'b' are shelved in the North West corner).

The History Faculty Library's lending collection also has Library of Congress Classification (LCC). Example shelfmark: DA175.G7 BAR 2011. Books from this collection can be borrowed from the Lower Camera Staff Desk by current members of Oxford University, once they have registered as Bod HFL members with HFL staff.

The Personal Development Collection

The Po Chung Personal Development Collection may be borrowed by University members via the Lower Camera Staff Desk.

Stack Material and Open Access material from other reading rooms

Generally, stack material requested to the Upper and Lower Reading Rooms in the Old Bodleian Library and the Lower Camera Reading Room can be brought down to the Gladstone Link to use, as can material from the open shelves in these locations. Material published pre-1851 should not be removed from the Old Bodleian.

If you wish to reserve stack material for future use, you must return it to the Hold point in the Reading Room from which you collected it. Readers are also asked to return other stack material to a Hold point for return to closed stacks so we know it is no longer in your possession and in case it has been requested by another reader. Please remember that access through the Gladstone Link is not possible from 45 minutes before the closure of the rest of the complex.


Computer and laptop facilities

Computers are available for readers to consult SOLO, OxLIP+ databases, and internet resources of academic interest.

Many of the seats are adjacent to power sockets, and wireless is available throughout the Gladstone Link- for more information please consult the Using a laptop page.

Printing, scanning and photocopying

Printing, scanning and photocopying is available on both levels of the Link near the red lobby, adjacent to the Radcliffe Camera. Payment is made using a PCAS account, which readers must set up to take advantage of these services. The account can be credited using credit/debit cards online, or using the cash-loader in the Lower Reading Room of the Old Library. 

Information on the PCAS system, full details of what can be copied and information about other copying services are given on the making a copy page.

Please note that photocopiers are turned off when the Gladstone Link closes and readers must stop copying when requested to do so by staff.

Closing routine

This commences quarter of an hour before the Gladstone Link closes. Access control will engage to prevent further entry/re-entry to the area at this time. Readers leaving the Link should use the green door release switch to exit. Staff will announce the closure of the Link via tannoy and then will proceed to clear the area, turning off the copiers, reader computers and terminals, and turning down the lighting in the area. Readers who wish to continue working can take material from the Gladstone Link to one of the reading rooms in the Radcliffe Camera or Old Bodleian Library and study there until the Library closes.

Please ensure that you take all your belongings with you when you leave the Library.

Emergency telephone points

The Gladstone Link offers two emergency telephone points. These are located near the red lobby, adjacent to the Radcliffe Camera, one on each level. Telephone numbers readers might need are displayed in the area.

Fire exits and assembly point

As there is no formal staff point in the Gladstone Link, readers must familiarise themselves with the fire escape routes and evacuation plans. You must leave immediately if the fire alarm sounds in the Gladstone Link, evacuating as directed by the flashing signage. Evacuation will either be through the tunnel to the Old Bodleian or through the Radcliffe Camera. Readers may also be asked to make a precautionary evacuation if either the Old Bodleian or Radcliffe Camera are evacuated. 

The assembly point is in Brasenose Lane. Readers must leave the building promptly when the fire alarm sounds or when instructed to by library staff.

Health and Safety Information

Rolling Shelving

Readers should be careful of themselves, other readers and the books at all times.

  • Check the aisles before you roll the case(s)
  • Roll the case(s) gently
  • For extra security use the case lock to secure the case in position 
  • If the case seems jammed, check that the case lock is undone; please do not force the cases

One section of the original Gladstone Shelving is still arranged in its historic form as mobile shelving. Please use this with care and always push cases back into position after use. Readers should refrain from using the mobile Gladstone shelving if wearing open-toed footwear.

Grille Flooring

Some areas of the original grille flooring on the Upper Level are exposed. Readers should refrain from walking on this flooring in thin heels. 

Restricted Headroom

Due to the nature of the structure, the ceilings in the Gladstone Link are relatively low with variations in ceiling height within the space. All readers should take care to avoid overhead hazards when using the Gladstone Link, with those over 6ft (1.8m) tall needing to take particular care.

If you encounter any particular hazards, please report them to the roving support staff or the Lower Camera Reserve as soon as possible.  


If I take material from one reading room to another, do I have to take it back again?

We (and other readers) would be greatly assisted if you were to take material with which you have finished back to its home reading room, but this is not required and there are 'repatriation' trolleys in each reading room/area. Please note: stack material which you wish to retain for further consultation must be taken back to the Collection Point from which you collected it.

How soon will material be returned to its correct place?

We will be almost continuously returning and reshelving material, and aim to get material back to its home reading room/area within a few hours. Material awaiting reshelving will be gathered to a small number of identified places to facilitate your finding it.

Does the open shelf slip system operate in the Gladstone Link?

Yes, the open shelf slip system system used in the reading rooms also operates in the Gladstone Link. This has been introduced in the GL due to reader feedback, currently as a trial.

Why is some material unclassified?

It would have been prohibitively expensive to classify 270,000 items of stock, and we have preferred to maintain investment in the acquisition of new material. We hope that you will enjoy direct and immediate access to this material, and we are looking into cost-effective ways of classifying future new intake.

Why isn't there a fetching service from the Gladstone Link?

Feedback from readers strongly suggests that your preference is for material to be on open access for direct and immediate finding. It is not normal practice to provide a fetching service for open shelf material. 

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