Finding books

The Library is classified using the the Dewey Decimal System (PDF), the scheme used by public libraries and some academic libraries. To find a book, search SOLO, the library catalogue for Oxford University libraries. See the guide Searching SOLO for details.

When you have found a book on SOLO, use the Find and Request tab to check:

  • which libraries hold copies
  • the call number
  • whether the book is available.

 Search results on SOLO

When checking the call number on SOLO, be sure to note down any suffixes such as "Local Collection", "Oversize" or "Pamphlet", as these items are kept in different places from other books (see below). Most books in the Rewley House Library, including oversize, Local Collection and pamphlets, can be borrowed. The exception is Reference books - their status on SOLO is Reference/Confined.

The catalogue is freely accessible from any internet connection, so you can check whether a book is available before you visit the Library. Please note, you cannot reserve books which are available - you will need to come in and find the book on the shelf.

For help finding the location of books within the library, see the Library Floorplan.

For more information on using SOLO, see the SOLO Guide or ask library staff.


SOLO includes records for both printed books and e-books, as well as other resources. E-books are indicated on the SOLO record with the words [electronic resource]. Any student of the Department can access the full text of e-books using Library computers. Students on award-bearing courses can also access e-books from home using Single Sign On. For more information, see E-books.


Local Collection

A collection of books relating to Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire is shelved in a separate sequence in the Upper Library. If an item is in the Local Collection, the call number shown on SOLO will include the suffix "Local Collection" or "Local Coll." The Local Collection also includes some journals, oversize books and pamphlets.

Photograph of books in the local collection

Please note the Library also covers Local History as a discipline. Books, journals and pamphlets about the study of local history more generally, without reference to this local area, are shelved in the Lower Library. If in doubt, check the shelfmark on SOLO.

Oversize books

Oversize books are indicated by 'Oversize' after the call number on SOLO. Except for those in the Local Collection, oversize books are located on the far left in the Lower Library (call numbers 001 - 939) and near the door in the Reading Room (call numbers 940 - 999).


Pamphlets are items with less than 50 pages. Most pamphlets are located in the Lower Library, near to the Oversize books. Pamphlets are indicated on SOLO by 'Pamphlets' after the call number. If the call number includes "(Pamphlet) (Local Coll)", the pamphlet will be found in the Local Collection in the Upper Library.

Reference books

Reference books such as dictionaries and encyclopaedias are kept in the Reading Room. On SOLO, their shelfmarks include the suffix "Q/REF" and the status is listed as "Reference/Confined". These books may not be borrowed, but can be consulted whenever the Reading Room is open.

New books

A list of newly acquired items can be found on the page New books lists.

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