Get resources at the Social Science Library



Request or reserve items

You can request items from the Bodleian Libraries offsite storage for delivery to the SSL. Find out more about requesting or reserving items via SOLO.

Most items will arrive within 24 hours. During term time, deliveries to the SSL also take place on Saturday mornings, for items ordered 10.30am – 7.30pm on Friday.  

When you have finished using an item requested from the stack, please return it to the issue desk. You can either let the library staff know that you wish to keep it to read again another day, or that you have finished with the item and it can be returned to the closed stack.


Inter-library requests

If you need an item that is not held in an Oxford library, you can use the Bodleian Libraries inter-library request service to obtain it from other UK libraries. The SSL also accepts requests for material from our collections from other institutions.


When making a request, you can choose to read the item in the SSL or collect it from the SSL (if it is borrowable) by selecting ‘Social Science Library’ as your delivery location. For more information about inter-library loans at SSL, email

For books to be used in the library only, we will email you when the item is ready to consult. Your University card will be taken in exchange for the book. This will be returned once the book is handed back to staff at the issue desk. You must return items by closing time each day. When you have finished with the book, please tick the box on the white insert kept with the book so that it may be returned to the lending institution.

For items that can be borrowed, we will email you once the item is ready to collect. You will be asked to sign two copies of a declaration stating that you accept responsibility for the item’s safety while it is in your possession. It is your responsibility to return the item by its due date. You may be charged a further fee if the item is returned late, depending on the policies of the lending institution.


The SSL will accept requests for material from our collections from UK or overseas external institutions who hold a British Library account number, and who confirm that a copyright declaration has been received by the individual for whom the request is being placed. We do not offer interlibrary lending services for commercial purposes, or in exchange for IFLA vouchers or any other method of payment outside of the British Library scheme.  

We can supply books, individual items which are part of a statistical series, microfilms, discussion and working papers, and articles from journal issues.  

We do not supply key textbooks (Library Use Only’ on SOLO), theses, material from the Refugee Studies Grey Literature collection (‘RSC Boxes’ in the shelf mark on SOLO), or whole journal issues.


We charge standard British Library prices:

  • loans: £15.95  
  • loans (overseas): £22.35  
  • scans and photocopies: £10.90  

If a unique item is requested (including microfilms and items from statistical series), we will post this by recorded delivery and levy the postal cost in addition to the cost of the request. For overseas institutions, we will post by airmail and levy the postal cost in addition to the cost of the request.

How to request an item

Check that the item you wish to request is available in the Bodleian Social Science Library by searching SOLO, the University’s library catalogue. Items held at the SSL will have the library code ‘SocSci’ and the location code ‘SSL Main Lib’. Please apply directly to the holding library.

Email your request details to, including the following information: title, author, volume and issue number (for periodicals), shelf mark, British Library account number, request reference number and the address to which the request is to be sent.  

Dispatch, loan periods and returns

We aim to dispatch requests within 2 weeks. Please do not send a chaser until this time has expired. If we are unable to supply a request, we will contact you, usually by email.  

All items are supplied with a purple slip: this should be kept and returned with any loaned material. For photocopies this may be discarded. The slip confirms the charge we will levy for the request, the due date for loaned material, and provides request details including any specific restrictions applying to the loan.  

Books are usually loaned for 28 days. We may restrict loan periods for unique items, including material from statistical series and microfilms. Renewal requests can be submitted by email to For certain types of material, such as unique items, we may specify that no renewal is possible.  

A returns label is provided for loaned material. Please use this when returning the item to us. Items must be returned to us in secure packaging by the specified due date. We will send reminders if items are overdue. We may invoice for items which are not returned or returned in an unsatisfactory condition.