SOLO known issues

SOLO, the Bodleian Libraries online catalogue, is continually developed and improved. This page covers the current known issues and the progress being made in addressing these.  As issues are resolved, they will be moved to the SOLO issues archive

If you experience any problems using SOLO, please let us know and ask library staff for help.

e-Shelf sorting

Sorting your e-Shelf is now possible by author, title and date added. However there is a problem when selecting an item on the e-Shelf that the entire page is refreshed and goes back to its original unsorted state. This will be resolved in future software releases.

Digitized copies displaying only a cover sheet

There is an issue with the scanned Google books and Chrome and Firefox browsers. If you use Internet Explorer you should not experience any problems. The issue means that the cover sheet is followed by only blank pages. A workaround is to change the way the browser views PDF files:

  • For Firefox, go to Options, then Applications, in the list of Content types find "Portable Document Format (PDF)" and then select Adobe Reader (Default) in the drop-down list.
  • For Chrome, go to: chrome://plugins. Click on "Disable" under "Chrome PDF viewer" and tick the box for "Always allowed" under "Adobe Reader".

Another option is to download the PDF and save it on your computer for viewing later with a suitable PDF reader. Adobe provides the free Acrobat Reader for most computer platforms at

Searching for large numbers

If you do a search in SOLO that mentions a large number (e.g. 20000 Leagues Under the Sea), you will not always see every item which you might expect to match your search. For instance, 20000 Leagues Under the Sea may return slightly different results from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

This can also be a problem when searching for maps where you include the scale in the search string. 

Users are advised to try variations of the search string with and without punctuation in the number until a fix is available for this issue. 

Display of records with large numbers of items attached

Sometimes SOLO struggles to display records with large numbers of items or volumes attached to them. A typical example of this would be a long run of a journal. This seems to be a particular problem in the 'Brief Results' display when using the 'View all' button. It is sometimes possible to resolve the issue by going to the 'Full display' of a particular record by clicking on its title or the cover image in the 'Brief Display', and then clicking on the 'Locations' tab. If you are still experiencing problems please ask staff for help. Staff can also request items on your behalf if necessary. Recent software updates have begun to address the issue and we continue to monitor the situation. We are in regular contact with the software provider and continue to push for performance improvements.   

Clusters of versions

SOLO clusters together 'versions' of the same work, such as multiple editions or editions in different languages/formats. This is designed to improve the display of the results list and make it easier to find editions of the same work. However for some types of searches and material clustering makes it harder to locate the precise record sought; this can be particularly problematic when searching for specific editions of popular titles or for antiquarian or non-book material.

Display of shelfmarks of items bound in a volume with other material

Some items in the library collections are bound together into sets e.g. a number of pamphlets bound together into one volume. Although the items bound together are usually connected in some way (such as by subject), they are catalogued separately in SOLO because there is no formal relationship between them. Each individual item also has its own shelfmark (often a base shelfmark with a number to indicate where it appears in the volume e.g. shelfmark (3) for the third item in the bound volume). 

Where works are bound together the shelfmark displays correctly in SOLO for the first item in the volume. However, the stucture of the SOLO software means that it is not possible to display the shelfmark for the subsquent works. As a result, all items in the volume display the shelfmark of the first item. In some cases it is possible to find the correct shelfmark in the "Details" tab under copy specific notes.

Ligature displaying incorrectly

The ligature in transliterated Cyrillic is appearing one character to the left of its correct position. The problem arises from the Arial Unicode font rather than the SOLO software or data. This font is used nonetheless because it offers the best overall support for the languages and scripts used in SOLO.

Some copy-specific notes are truncated

Some records for particular kinds of material held by the Bodleian Libraries have long and detailed copy-specific notes. Unfortunately due to technical issues we are not able to display very long notes in full. This is a display issue and the data has not been lost.

All notes should now display a link to the full version of the note and the indexing of the data has been streamlined to ensure that the greatest possible amount of the note text is searchable.

Ordering multi-volume works

In a limited number of cases, readers can only order one part of a multi-volume work. This is because of the structure of some of the catalogue records. If you require more than one volume of an affected work, please ask staff who can place requests on your behalf. Configuration changes have already been made in the system to limit the extent of the problem, and in the longer term, the affected catalogue records will be improved.

Back to top