Borrowing from the History Faculty Library

A student pulls a book off a bookshelf

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.

Who may borrow?

  • Current students and staff of Oxford University, including visiting fellows and visiting students, may borrow History Faculty Library (HFL) books.  
  • Bodleian Reader card holders may consult material on-site but may not borrow items.
  • Before borrowing for the first time, you must register with the History Faculty Library. Undergraduate History students are automatically registered. To register, please bring your University card to the Lower Camera enquiry desk.

What can be borrowed?

Items in the History Faculty Library (HFL) lending collection may be borrowed by eligible readers. All other material in the Radcliffe Camera is for reference only and may not be borrowed.  

How to borrow

  • If you want to borrow books from the HFL lending collection, you will find self-issue terminals in the Lower Camera and Upper Gladstone Link. Staff can also issue books from the Lower Camera circulation desk.
  • We offer ‘privileged reader’ status to readers with a disability, including extended loans and proxy borrowing. More about services for disabled readers
Reader type Number of items Borrowing period  
Undergraduates and taught postgraduates 15 7 days  
Visiting students 15 7 days  
Research postgraduates 15 28 days  
Oxford University academic staff and visiting academic staff 15 28 days  
History Faculty academic staff 20 1 term  

Short loans

A small number of heavily used items can be borrowed for up to 2 days during term, with the option of one online renewal. Short loans can be borrowed for the whole vacation period from Thursday of 8th week. Short loans are included in your borrowing allowance. 

Vacation borrowing

Vacation borrowing starts on Monday of 8th week each term. From this point, books will be issued until the start of the following term. From Thursday of 8th week, borrowing limits are raised and short loan books are also available as vacation loans.

All readers eligible for borrowing may borrow items during vacations:

  • Christmas vacation: 20 items
  • Easter vacation: 20 items
  • Long vacation: 30 items

Renew and return

  • You can renew items if they have not been reserved by another reader.  
  • You may renew items twice online via SOLO before they must be returned to the library by the new due date or renewed in person at the library.
  • You will be sent an email notification the day before an item is due back to the library.  
  • Items can be returned in the Lower Camera Reading Room by staff at the enquiry desk or using the book returns boxes in the lobby or at the rear of the room. 

Overdue books

You will be charged a fine for any item not returned by its due date. The charges per item are:

If you incur fines of £10 or over across the Bodleian Libraries, you will be unable to continue borrowing until your fines have been paid in full or reduced to below £10.

You can pay fines owed to the Bodleian Libraries at the Lower Camera Reserve Desk in cash or online (for fines over £2). We cannot waive fines owed to other libraries. 

Lost books

If you have lost a book borrowed from the HFL, please contact library staff (library.history@bodleian.ox.ac.uk). Library staff will draft an invoice for the cost of the missing book. You will be contacted by staff within 5 working days (Monday to Friday). We cannot accept payment for lost books belonging to other Bodleian libraries.