Using the VHL

A birdseye view of the reading room at the Vere Harmsworth Library


  • All members of Oxford University and anyone with a valid Bodleian Reader card may use the library.
  • If you do not have a Bodleian Reader card and wish to visit the library for research purposes, please contact the Librarian.  
  • Find out more about how to apply for a Bodleian Reader card in order to access the Bodleian Libraries and their collections.

General information

Layout and classification

Library material is arranged according to the Library of Congress Classification scheme. Reference material is located on the ground floor. Oversized material is located on the first floor. Most books and journals are available on the open shelves. You can find where books and journals are located on SOLO.

Pre-1920 material and theses are in the library’s stacks and need to be requested using the hold (stack request) facility on SOLO. Stack requests are kept at the enquiry desk. Please ask staff for your books when you come into the library and return them to the enquiry desk when you leave.


The microfilm collections are kept in cabinets on the ground floor of the library. Each cabinet drawer is labelled with the range of call numbers it contains. The subject guide also indicates in which cabinet and drawer a film is located. Microfiche and microcards are all located in cabinet 21 (on the end), regardless of call number.

Microfilm readers are available.