Spaces at the Bodleian Old Library

You will need to book a time slot to use our open libraries. Check individual libraries for more details. Find out what to expect when you visit a library and our latest service updates.

Lower Reading Room

  • The Lower Reading Room is situated on the first floor of the Old Bodleian Library. It is partitioned into smaller rooms and offers many seats equipped with sockets.
  • View a map (PDF) of the reading room.  
  • The Enquiry Desk is in the Reference Room at the north end of Lower Reading Room. It is staffed throughout opening hours. You can find a range of guides on library services and facilities at the desk. Find out more about help services available.  
  • There is a quiet area at the south end, in the Philosophy Room. Desks are flagged with notices requesting no device use in this area. We ask readers to respect this, as it has been requested by other library users.
  • Inter-library loans can be consulted in this reading room.
  • If you wish to request material not held on the open shelves for delivery to the Lower Reading Room, you can request this to 'Bod Lower RR Self-Collect' via SOLO.

Upper Reading Room

Duke Humfrey's Library

Duke Humfrey’s Library offers seating in silent study conditions and a historic setting. There is reader seating available in the bays off the main body of Duke Humfrey’s Library and in Selden End. Readers with all types of University and Bodleian Reader cards can use this room.

Power and data sockets are available for laptops.

Readers should be aware certain restrictions apply in using this room:

  • You may not bring coats or bags into Duke Humfrey's Library. Laptop cases are permitted.
  • You must leave your own bags in lockers and use only the clear bags provided for your belongings.
  • You may not bring food or drinks into this room, even in sealed containers.
  • Please respect the photography regulations displayed—no photographs should be taken of Duke Humfrey’s Library itself.

Gladstone Link

  • The Gladstone Link connects the Bodleian Old Library and the Radcliffe Camera.
  • It offers 120 reader spaces, and a more informal workspace than the traditional reading rooms.
  • It is accessible from the Bodleian Old Library via the north stairs or the lift in the nearby coat and bag lobby.