Hilary term updates

Updates on services, resources, and support available to help you carry on with your work and research.

We are working hard to offer as many services as possible in line with government and University of Oxford guidelines.

We'll keep this page and our Twitter feed up to date with the latest information.

For further help or questions, please email reader.services@bodleian.ox.ac.uk or use our Live Chat service.

Page last updated: 22 February 2021

Latest service changes

Following government and University guidance there are a number of services changes for Hilary term.

We will continue to review our services in response to the changing situation throughout term.

Libraries reopening

From 28 January, in addition to the Old Bodleian Library and Cairns Library, a small number of our libraries will begin to reopen. Booking via Space Finder remains essential and now requires your SSO (single sign-on) to log in.

The following libraries are reopening:

  • Cairns Library at the John Radcliffe Hospital
  • Law Library
  • Old Bodleian Library (including Duke Humfrey's Library)
  • Radcliffe Camera/History Faculty Library
  • Sackler Library
  • Social Science Library
  • Taylor Institution Library
  • Vere Harmsworth
  • Weston Library

Please check our book a library time slot page for specific dates and opening hours.

Our libraries will only be open to current University members who have been invited back to Oxford, or remained over the vacation. You will need to book a desk space via Space Finder before you arrive.

Our remaining libraries are temporarily closed.

COVID-19 safety 

The Bodleian Libraries have updated conditions of access. You must wear a face covering properly in the Library including when sitting at a desk. If you are medically exempt, we request you display an exemption card or sunflower during your visit. Alternatively you can confirm to a staff member on arrival that you are exempt to avoid being disturbed during your visit. We will not ask for details of the reasons for this exemption.

Please stay alert when using our buildings:

  • Keep your 2m distance
  • Wash your hands
  • Wear a face covering (or display an exemption card)
  • Have symptoms? Stay at home and get a test
  • Contacted by track and trace? Stay at home

Readers that compromise our practices will be asked to leave.

Thank you for working with us to protect our community.

Remote and non-contact services

The following services are continuing to run across all closed libraries:

More about our remote access services

HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access

We have reinstated our emergency access arrangement with the HathiTrust.

This service enables on-screen read access to 1.5 million in-copyright items in the HathiTrust Digital Library, which have been verified as held in the Bodleian's collection in physical form (in addition to approx 4 million public domain items already available); these materials will be unavailable for Click & Collect. The majority of the collection is in Humanities subjects.

This service is available for University members.

You can access resources directly using your SSO on the HathiTrust website. Or use the links from existing records in SOLO where a digital copy is available via HathiTrust.

Stack deliveries

University members can still order items from the closed stacks to one of our open reading rooms.

To make use of closed stack deliveries from the Book Storage Facility (BSF), check SOLO for availability in your chosen library, ensuring you have booked a seat in the reading room beforehand.

If you have already placed an order to a library that is no longer open, these can't currently be re-routed to an open library. We're working on how to address this.

How to order printed material.

Inter-library loans

We are currently unable to process requests for physical inter-library loans. Requests for electronic copies will be processed where possible.

More about inter-library loans.

Loan returns

Loans have been extended until 29 April 2021 across all items except those borrowed from the Cairns Library. Items borrowed from the Cairns Library must be returned by 1 March 2021.

If you are in Oxford, items should be returned to the library from which they were borrowed or via a temporary loan return hub.

If you are not in Oxford, you can send items to us using the Royal Mail Tracked service or contact us if you are based internationally.

How to return loans.


Fines for overdue books are currently suspended, we will inform readers when they are reinstated.

Self-isolating students

If you are self-isolating but need to borrow or return items you can:

Bodleian Reader Card holders

Following guidance from the Minister of State for Universities, our physical library spaces are now only open to University of Oxford members.

Our online services are still available:

  • OffsiteScan free scans from our offsite facility which holds over 10 million items. Requires a valid reader card.
  • Open Access eresources use the Open Access filter in SOLO to find journals, articles and books that are available to all to read
  • Databases many of our databases are also open to all. Please look for the circle symbol in our Databases A-Z

Please note, the Admissions Office is temporarily closed and is unable to issue new or renew expired cards. We apologise for any inconvenience.

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