Upper Camera

Upper Camera

The Upper Camera Reading Room holds the Bodleian Library's teaching collections for History and English. Since the relocation of the History Faculty Library (HFL) into the Radcliffe Camera and Gladstone Link, it also holds the HFL's Undergraduate Set Text reference collection. The staff office is also located here. The reading room consists of a main level with stairs to an upper gallery level.

For more information about the History Faculty Library and the use of its collections, please visit the HFL web-page.  

View location map 

Enquiries and contact information

Reader Services Teamleader: Lyn Jones
tel: 01865 (2)77262 / (2)77204 
email: radcam-enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Please ask reading room staff if you have any enquiries about open shelf material, the book service, or photocopying.

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

The Library's Main Enquiry Desk in the Lower Reading Room of the Old Library is staffed throughout opening hours, and staff there are happy to help with any queries, direct you to the most appropriate reading room for your studies, and assist with the use of the online catalogue SOLO and electronic resources available via OxLIP+. A range of guides on library services and facilities is also available from the Desk. To contact the Main Enquiry Desk or to ask a question, please use the Ask an Oxford Librarian page.

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



English books may be found on the main level (SE.1-14) around the perimeter of the reading room. Back runs of some English journals can be found on the open shelves in the lower level of the Gladstone Link (the PER HUMS). Many are also available online via OU e-Journals.


History books may be found in the gallery (S.HIST.1-20 and S.HIST.TEMP), with the exception of reference material (S.HIST.REF), which is located on free-standing shelves situated on the left hand side of the main level. Please note that material covering the history of Asia and North Africa can be found at S.HIST.17-20. There is also a collection of books from the former Indian Institute. These have shelfmarks beginning S.HIST.21.

History Faculty set texts are kept on the main level to the right of the staff office. Selected recent acquisitions of undergraduate materials relating to History, from both the legal deposit intake (British and Irish materials) and, where relevant, from a wide range of foreign accessions, are displayed in a bookcase near the staff office.

Back runs of some History journals can be found on the open shelves in the lower level of the Gladstone Link (the section PER HUMS). Many are also available online via OU e-Journals.  

For more information, please see the History subject page.

Film Studies

Film Studies books are located in the free-standing cases against the pillars on the right hand side of the main level. 

Using the collections

All titles held in the Upper Camera are listed on SOLO, Oxford University's library catalogue. On SOLO, books available on the open shelves will have the location Upper Camera Main Floor Open Shelves or Upper Camera Gallery Open Shelves, followed by a shelfmark such as SE. 1 1.79 or S.HIST.10.25.3. A pink slip must be filled out and put in the place of any material removed from the shelves. 

Books from the open shelves in the Lower Camera, Gladstone Link and Bodleian Library, and loans from closed stack, may be transferred for use in the Upper Camera. 

Kicksteps and other items of height access equipment are available to help readers retrieve open shelf books from the higher shelves of bookcases. Please take care when using the equipment, and if it is unstable, let staff know straightaway, and then find another set of steps.


Closing routine

This commences half an hour before closure, when windows will be closed, and bookcase lights turned off. Reader workstations will be turned off 15 minutes before closure. A bell will be rung 10 minutes before closure, which is the signal for readers to finish working and depart. Readers using the gallery should leave this area promptly at this point. The main lights will be turned off 5 minutes before closure. Please ensure that you take all your belongings with you when you leave the Library.

Please note that photocopiers are turned off and that staff-service photocopy orders are not accepted from 30 minutes before closing.

Fire exits and assembly point

The only fire exit is through the entrance door to the Upper Camera, and down the stairs, (facing the Bodleian) on the right hand side of the staircase. Assemble in Brasenose Lane. Readers must leave the building promptly when the fire alarm sounds or when instructed to by library staff.

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