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 via their blue-striped University card.


From 21 June 2021, the Bodleian Libraries will reopen to all readers and the Admissions Office will resume a more expanded service.

We will be processing applications for first-time and renewing applicants who wish to consult material at any of the Bodleian Libraries.

To consult the special collections material at the Weston Library, please email in the first instance. You can then contact for information on completing the application process.

The Admissions Office remains closed to in-person visits.

You can find more information on our service updates page or our Twitter account.

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 issue cards both to first-time and renewing applicants in person at our Admissions Office.

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.

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.

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:

Programme members

If you are a member of a study abroad or tutorial college programme or summer school and would like to access the Bodleian Libraries, access is agreed via the programme.

Please contact your programme or course coordinator who will need 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:

Find the Admissions Office