Apply for a Bodleian Reader card

University of Oxford students, staff and affiliated academic visitors automatically get access to the Bodleian Libraries when they join the University, and for the duration of their status, via their blue-striped University card.

We welcome applications from:

Library access can be provided to any individual upon establishing a research need and presenting the required forms of identity.

Applicants must normally be over 18 years of age at the time they are applying in order to be considered for a Bodleian Reader card.

We finalise cards both for first-time and renewing applicants in person at our Admissions Office. Find out more about our opening hours, and read our guidance on arriving at the office and pre-ordering material.

Charges apply to some applicants.

Once your application has been processed and accepted you will receive a Bodleian Reader card, subject to the Bodleian Libraries' Rules of Conduct.

Statement of research need

You need to write a statement of research need to accompany your application for a Bodleian Reader card.

Please include:

  • Your reasons for applying for a card
  • The specific material you would like to consult
  • How this is useful for your research

Other individuals who can access the Bodleian Libraries

You can also access the Bodleian Libraries if you are:

Study abroad and summer school students

If you are a member of a study abroad or tutorial college programme or summer school please note that access to the Bodleian Libraries is organised via your group coordinator.

Please ask your coordinator to email the Bodleian Libraries Admissions Officer.


Contact the Admissions Office

For application questions and other queries, including lost cards or if none of our categories describe your current circumstances, please email:

Please note that the Bodleian Libraries does not issue any letters of invitation for visa, funding or for any other purpose, and we do not engage into any correspondence to that end.

Find the Admissions Office