Borrowing at the VHL

A row of individual desks with a student sitting at each one

Who may borrow?

  • If you hold a valid (blue-striped) University card, you may borrow from our collections.
  • If you hold a Bodleian Reader card, you have reference-only access to our collections, and may not borrow items.

What can be borrowed?

Books on the open shelves can be borrowed if they were not received by the library under legal deposit. You can check this by looking at the Bodleian Library stamp on the back of the title page. If the book has a ‘C’ (for copyright) in it, it cannot be borrowed. Items with ‘P’ (purchased), ‘D’ (donation) or ‘E’ (exchange) can be borrowed.  

Some older material does not follow this system: in this case, anything published in the UK will be assumed to be legal deposit and restricted. VHL library staff will check books at the desk before checking them out for you.

Periodicals, microforms, reference books, material from the stack (pre-1920) or material you have requested for delivery to the VHL from the Bodleian or elsewhere may also not be borrowed. 

Loans, renewals and returns

Our borrowing policy applies across all Bodleian Libraries that offer lending, including the VHL. Find out more about borrowing from the Bodleian Libraries, including how many items you can borrow, loan periods and automatic renewals. 

Vacation borrowing for most items begins on Monday of 8th Week each term.

Most loanable items are subject to automatic renewals. If a renewal is not possible then the courtesy notice is sent. Items with an active request by another library user cannot be renewed.

Reading room items must be renewed manually.