Using the Nizami Ganjavi Library

Two bookshelves with a large book open on display

In line with government guidance, you must wear a face covering in library reading rooms, unless you are exempt. Find out more about staying safe in our spaces and other service updates.

General information

Library rules

  • All readers must follow the Bodleian Libraries Regulations and Rules of Conduct, as well as local rules for this library given on this page.
  • Mobile phones must be switched to silent mode while inside the library.  
  • Articles left on library premises or in lockers are at the owner's risk.   
  • Food and drink are not allowed in the library, except bottled water. If you have a medical need to keep food with you, please speak to library staff.
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Located just around the corner from the Sackler Library near Pusey Place, turn left onto Pusey Lane to find the Nizami Ganjavi Library or NGL. The library is based in the Oriental Institute (OI) as part of the Faculty of Oriental Studies. It was previously known as the Oriental Institute Library.

Please then walk across the lobby of the building to the double doors opposite you. The entrance to the NGL is remote and can be accessed by placing your hand against the barrier to enter the library. You then need to hold your Bodleian card at the scan-reader by the glass door to enter the enquiry desk area.

The collections at NGL include the areas of West Asia, North Africa, the Caucasus, Central Asia, South Asia, Tibet and Korea. They cover the languages, history, cultures and religions of these areas.

In terms of languages, our collection specialises in Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Korean. In religion, our focus in on Islamic Studies and Eastern Christian Studies. This includes an emphasis on Armenian, Georgian and Syriac Studies.

The general reference section is available on the ground floor. This can be found through the main reading room doors on your right and also past the enquiry desk. Most of this section is arranged by the Library of Congress Classification.

Past the main desk and around the corner of the library, there are steps that take you to the lower ground floor. There is also a small lift in the corner of the library that can be used to go downstairs.

This is where the South Asian and Hebrew collections are available. This collection uses a bespoke library classification. The Korean and Eastern Christianity books are also on this floor.

There is also a map detailing the layout of the library, in the main reading room, which new readers may find helpful.

As readers, you can order closed-stack items from the offsite storage facility. These items are placed on the reservation shelves on the ground-floor.

Toilets can be found within the OI, on the lower ground floor.

Please don’t hesitate to approach us for any further guidance. We can be contacted via email (ngl-enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) or telephone (+44 (0)1865 278201). Contact details for Subject Librarians can also be found on our website.

We look forward to welcoming you and seeing you very soon!

Layout and classification

  • You can find a plan of the library and the locations of the different shelving schemes at the front desk.
  • The general reference section is on the ground floor of the library. A detailed map is available.
  • Library shelves are labelled with the shelfmarks they house. If you are unable to find something, do feel free to ask the library staff.  
  • Most of the collections on the ground floor use the Library of Congress Classification (LCC).
  • The South Asian and Hebrew collections on the lower ground floor use a bespoke library classification.
  • Korean books and books on Eastern Christianity are also housed on the lower ground floor. These have a prefix on the record (‘KSL’ and ‘ECL’, respectively) that identifies them as being part of these collections and not the general LCC sequence.