What do I have to do?

The current process for the issue of a Bodleian Reader Card is the same for both first-time applications and renewals, and it is as follows:

  • All applicants are required to complete a new Bodleian Libraries' Admission form for each new Bodleian Reader Card to be issued, and to bring this to the Bodleian Libraries' Admissions Office in person.
  • Applicants will need to complete the Statement of Research Need.
  • All applicants are required, at admission, to show two forms of identity for each new Bodleian Reader Card to be issued - one form of personal identification, and one form of proof of permanent home address. Staff and students of academic institutions are additionally required to provide proof of academic status and its duration. All the abovementioned documents must be provided in English. 
  • Applicants are not required to make an appointment for admission, but are welcome instead to visit us during the opening hours for the Bodleian Libraries' Admissions Office. Also, applicants are not required to send in their application forms or supporting documents prior to visits for admission.

Bodleian Libraries' Admission form

When completing the Bodleian Libraries' Admission form, please leave the section marked 'STAFF USE ONLY' blank.

Personal Details

The first side of the Bodleian Libraries' Admission form asks you to give personal details and to select your current status as one of the following:

*Taught Postgraduate (this includes all postgraduate courses with a taught element)
Research Postgraduate (this includes PhD programmes or equivalent and Masters by Research only) 
Academic Staff
OUP Staff
Company Researcher
Independent Researcher
Charity Researcher

Your current status will determine the terms of access to the Bodleian Libraries and the type of Bodleian Reader Card you will be issued.

For students of universities outside the UK, we understand that higher education systems may function differently. If you are unsure as to which option best describes your current status, please contact us in advance of your visit so that we can advise accordingly.

*For undergraduate and taught postgraduate students, as a matter of policy, access to the Libraries is usually only provided outside of the University of Oxford Full Term dates. Find out about upcoming term dates.

Statement of Research Need

On the second page of the Bodleian Libraries' Admission form you will need to complete a Statement of Research Need. This is where you can tell us more about the material you would like to consult in the Bodleian Libraries that may be useful to you as part of your research.

It is highly recommended to have consulted SOLO (the Bodleian Libraries' online catalogue for General Collections material) before completing the Statement of Research Need so as to be able to include a list of resources that you wish to consult.

SOLO is searchable from any location with internet access. It is not necessary to hold a Bodleian Readers Card in order to use our electronic catalogue.

SOLO allows readers to search for all catalogued modern printed material, which includes most books, printed journals and newspapers, maps and music printed after 1800 (unless classified as Special Collections material) and e-resources that are accessible with a Bodleian Reader Card.

You are strongly advised to contact Special Collections directly prior to your visit in order to obtain more information on early printed resources and Special Collections material, which includes all manuscript and archival material, ephemera, as well as material published before 1801, and material in a named collection, or other rare material, which may not be searchable through SOLO

Email: specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Telephone: 01865 277150 (+44 1865 277150 from outside the United Kingdom)

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