Apply for a Bodleian Reader card

If you are a student, member of staff or affiliated academic visitor of the University of Oxford, you automatically get access to the Bodleian Libraries when you join the University, and for the duration of your status, via your blue-striped University card.

Please note: Bodleian Libraries Admissions does not issue University of Oxford cards; please contact your Oxford college and/or department. 

You can also access the Bodleian Libraries if you are:

Our application process

We welcome applications from:

Bodleian Reader cards do not give any borrowing privileges or remote access rights to the University's online subscription resources.

You must normally be over 18 years of age when you apply to get a Bodleian Reader card.

To apply for library access, you will need to:

  1. complete an application form (including the statement of research need)
  2. make sure you have the required forms of ID
  3. bring your application form and ID documents to the Admissions Office at the Weston Library to finalise your application and receive your Bodleian Reader card.

If you wish, you can pre-order material before you apply for your Bodleian Reader card.

The application process is the same whether you are applying for the first time or renewing your access. You may need to pay a charge as part of your application.

We consider applications to access the Bodleian Libraries on the basis of your research needs. As a rule we do not consider applications from individuals who are only looking for a quiet study space.

All readers must follow the Bodleian Libraries' Rules of Conduct.

Statement of research need

As part of your application form, you will need to write a statement of research need. Please include:

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

Admissions Office

At the Admissions Office, we finalise cards for both first-time applicants and those renewing their cards. Find out more about:

Contact us

We are happy to answer any questions you have about the application process or any other queries, including lost cards or if none of our categories describe your current circumstances. Contact us by email:

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