Law Library Refurbishment Project

Renovation of Library Roof August 2019 - April 2020

The works will consist of the replacement of the roof structure, new roof finishes, rooflights, and rainwater drainage; including repairs and cleaning of the brickwork structure, improvements to smoke detection systems, and internal decorations.

The project will also include a new passive ventilation system which will improve the thermal comfort of the library and reduce overheating during the summer months.

It will be necessary to erect scaffolding both inside and outside the building as the works include a temporary ceiling and roof to protect the building from the weather. 
The intention is that the Law Library will remain open for the duration of the project. However there will inevitably be some disruption to normal library life. The Renovations page on our blog will reflect developments in finer detail. The timing and principal effects of the start of the work are given below:

Monday 12 August to Saturday 14 September 2019

During this period, internal scaffolding will be erected in Levels 2 & 3 so that a temporary ceiling can be installed.

Temporary Entrance to the Library 

Readers will be asked to use a temporary  entrance on the north side of the building. You may find consulting this map (a pdf download) showing route from the foot of the external staircase round to this temporary entrance reassuring in advance of your visit. Once the door is operational there will also be plenty of signage in place. There is both a short staircase (with handrail) and ramp access (with handrail) to this door. Once inside the building, turn left into the Library - there will be an Enquiry Desk with staff on hand to help you get your bearings!

Restricted Reader Access Within the Library 

Seating areas for readers will be restricted to Level 1 and the Ground Floor. This includes access to the Large IT Room (with its Bodleian Library Computers) and a PCAS machine on the Ground Floor.
The Discussion Rooms on the Ground Floor, and the Seminar Room on Level 1 will also remain available for readers to book.
Staff will be happy to fetch items shelved in closed areas down for readers between 9am and 5pm Mondays to Fridays. We regret we that we cannot fetch books after 5pm or on Saturdays. If these are the only times you will be able to use the Library, please email in advance so that we will be able to have the volumes downstairs ready for you.

Restriction to Library Services

Staff in the Law Library will not be able to add cash top ups to PCAS accounts, nor sell Bodleian KeepCups, nor accept payments for library fines. Our colleagues in the Bodleian Social Science Library will be happy to do these transactions. 
Readers will not have access to our microfiche reader/printer, but there is one in the Bodleian Social Science Library.
The Social Science Library is a 5 minute, flat walk from the Law Library.

Subsequent predictions as to the work progress

Monday 16 September 2019

Return to normal entrance, with full reader access main Reading Room and Gallery. Internal scaffolding installed.

Monday 23 September 2019

External scaffolding installed

Friday 21 February 2020

Completion of works

Monday 16 March 2020

Return of temporary entrance on the north side as internal scaffolding is being removed.

Friday 4 April 2020

Return to normal entrance, with full reader access main Reading Room and Gallery. Internal scaffolding removed.


 The final stage of this major overhaul to fit the Library for our next 50 years will be work on the roof.

Building Refurbishment 2016/2017


A very considerable amount of work in & to the Law Library that was carried out mainly through 2016.

As a result there was a re-arrangement of much of the open shelf collections in the Law Library. If you haven't visited us recently, consulting the new Floor Plans in advance of your visit may be helpful! These plans are displayed as wall posters at strategic places on all floors, and of course you are always welcome to ask a member of staff for directions once in the library.

A number of new working spaces were also created within the Library, information about these can be found on our New Library Spaces page.

If you are interested in the basic timeline of the renovations then see below or we also maintained a renovation blog  to inform readers of progress - and the odd problem.

Basic timeline of the renovations

Hilary &
Trinity Terms 2015
Consultation with Law Faculty on proposed withdrawals: completed.
Transfer of selected US law reports, pre-2000 US law journals & foreign dissertations to BSF: completed.  Please consult our blog if you need to consult transferred material.
Long Vacation

Building works next to main Reading Room to start in mid-August. Noise may affect readers.
The Baker & McKenzie Room will no longer be available for use.
Extra closed days (for builders to be able to power ahead): to include at least Saturday 22 August, from Fri 28 August to Mon 31 August (both inclusive), & Saturday 5 September.
Follow link for further news on our blog.

Michaelmas Term
Normal library services to continue in BLL - exact locations for inductions and tutorials will be advised.
Later in MT, Level 1 secondary collection will be re-located to new open access area on Level 0.
Christmas Vacation 2015-2016
Legislation and law reports from non-British Isles jurisdictions will be temporarily relocated to an open access area on the lower level of the Bodleian Gladstone Link.
Hilary Term
Normal library services to continue in BLL. Sections of Level 1 will be closed off to readers. Freshfields Room & Graduate Reading Room to be relocated to Level 0.
Carrels in the Wing areas will be vacated.
Work will start relocating the current collections held in the Wings - international law (public & private), jurisprudence, Roman, General & Comparative, and Criminology. Also the secondary collection held in the GRR on Level 1.
Easter Vacation
Some noisy demolition works in the Wing stack areas.
Trinity Term
Reader access to the BLL will continue as normal to most areas. Details will be updated here & on blog as soon as possible.
Long Vacation

Late June - end of September 2016.
Major demolition & building works: there will be noisy work throughout the vacation.
Even when the Library is open there will be restricted access to certain areas.  

From (& including) Saturday 6 August until (& including) Friday 16 September the Library will be closed. Law Library staff will be operating a service from the neighbouring Bodleian Social Science Library, Manor Road Building, Manor Rd, Oxford OX1 3UQ. 


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