Lower Camera

Lower Camera 

The Lower Camera Reading Room (LCam), situated on the ground floor of the Radcliffe Camera, contains the enquiry and circulation desk and houses the beginning of History Faculty Library's main lending collection.

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Enquiries and contact information

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

Please ask library staff if you have any enquiries or difficulties using our services, collections, SOLO, or need assistance finding resources for your study. The full range of services and support is offered from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. During these core hours, Radcliffe Camera staff can be found in the Upper Camera as well as the Lower Camera. Staff are more than happy to help with any aspect of our services and collections.

If you want to borrow books from the HFL lending collection, you will find a self-issue terminal as well as the staff circulation desk in the Lower Camera. Current members of Oxford University can borrow books from the HFL lending collection once you have registered with library staff. 

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


All History Faculty Library collections are listed on SOLO, Oxford University's library catalogue. This sequence begins in the Lower Camera and continues in the Upper Gladstone Link. SOLO clearly indicates in which location books are held.

Please note the Bodleian Library's teaching collection for History is located in the Upper Camera Reading Room (shelfmarks starting with S.Hist), along with the HFL Undergraduate Set Text reference collection.

> see also History collections on open-shelves in the Old Bodleian and Radcliffe Camera (LibGuide)

Using the collections

Mobile steps, 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. 

Book replacing and missing books

Book replacing is undertaken throughout the day during opening hours. There are reshelving trolleys in various locations which you are encouraged to check in the event of looking for a book not on the shelf.

If a book is missing from the open-shelves, please check SOLO whether the book has been borrowed or not. Should you be repeatedly unable to find a book, you are welcome to ask for a missing book search.

Stack request

To order books to the Lower Camera using SOLO, sign in to SOLO, choose the "hold" option and select the Delivery/Pickup location Radcliffe Camera (Lower) from the list offered. A maximum of 10 hold requests to the Lower Camera can be made at any one time. Pre-1851, large or heavy material, and special collections material may not be ordered to this room. > more on stack requests.

Once you have been notified of the arrival of your book in the reading room, you can pick your book from the self-collect shelves, using your self-collect id to find the books. Your self-collect is composed of the first 3 letters of your surname following by the last 4 numbers of your reader's card.

Owing to high demand and pressures on space, items with the following self-collect ids are shelved in certain areas:

A-K are located around the central area in the Lower Camera.
L-O are located opposite the enquiry desk in the entrance to the Lower Camera.
P-Z are located on white shelving in the middle of the Upper Gladstone Link.


Closing routine

This commences 30 minutes before the advertised closing time, when windows will be closed, and bookcase lights and PCAS machines are turned off. Reader computers 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 leave. 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 be aware there is no access to the Gladstone Link from Lower Camera or the Old Library 45 minutes before the closure of the Bodleian and Radcliffe Camera complex.

Fire exits and assembly point

The main fire exit is through the entrance door to the Lower Camera. 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.


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