Special collections

Of the 13 million items held by the Bodleian Libraries, over one million can be categorized as 'special collections'. Our special collections comprise manuscripts and archives, rare books, printed ephemera, maps, music and digitized collections in libraries across Oxford.


Finding special collections

Our collections

You can explore many of our archives, manuscripts, maps and other notable collections online on Digital Bodleian. If you would like to view collections in person in one of our reading rooms, you will need to apply for access.

Using our special collections

How to get access to our special collections.

Order special collections

How to order special collections material for viewing in the Weston Library.

Reading rooms at the Weston Library

A guide to using reading rooms in the Weston Library, and help with handling special collections material.

Copying, scanning and photography

A guide to getting scans, photocopies and images of special collections material.

Exhibition loans

Information for institutions interested in loaning special collections material.

Research projects and partnerships

Collaborative research proposals and opportunities with the Bodleian Libraries.

Friends of the Bodleian

Support the Bodleian's work to acquire, preserve and digitise collections for future generations

Subject libraries

Some Bodleian Libraries hold special collections related to a particular subject area.

Follow us

You can keep up with the latest research and events on our blogs or by following us on Twitter @BodleianCSB and @RareBooksofBod.