Returning books:
Place books in the crate by the VHL service desk any time during opening hours. There is no need to make prior arrangements to do this. Books will be quarantined for 24 hours before the next person can use them.

Paying library fines:
At the moment, payment of fines can only be done online

Borrowing books:
Borrowing is currently possible only by advance booking. This can be done via the Click and Collect and Browse and Borrow services. Readers who have booked a study space in the library can also borrow books during their visit.

Studying in the library:
You must book a space in advance online in order to work in the library - more information can be found at www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/reading-rooms.

Bookings are done online at https://spacefinder.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/. You can choose to book a desk space with or without a PC, or a Browse and Borrow slot (which allows you to browse the shelves without using a desk space).

Staying at home:
You can request scans of chapters and articles via the Scan and  Deliver service. This service is free and limited to one request per reader per day.


The Group Study Rooms on the 1st floor are not in use currently and can only be booked by readers with registered disabilities in consultation with Disability Librarian (disability.librarian@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) and/or Library staff (vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk).

The break room with the vending machine on the 2nd floor is also not available at the moment.

Please also see the information about current service provision from the Bodleian Libraries.

The Radcliffe Science Library is now closed for refurbishment until late 2021. RSL staff are now based in the Vere Harmsworth Library in the Rothermere American Institute and the Bodleian Libraries science library services will operate from there while work on redeveloping the RSL takes place.

We are very grateful to the VHL and RAI for taking on the RSL staff and users as guests in their space.

Finding the RSL

Map: https://maps.ox.ac.uk/embed.html#/custom?ids=oxpoints:32320002

1a South Parks Rd

Opening hours

The VHL and RSL have the following opening hours:

Term time:

  • 9.30am to 9pm Monday to Friday
  • 10am to 4pm Saturday
  • 11am to 5pm Sunday

Vacation (subject to confirmation):

  • 9.30am to 7pm Monday to Friday
  • 10am to 2pm Saturday
  • Closed Sunday

Contact details


All RSL books available for loan are now on the 2nd floor of the VHL. To borrow items, please bring them to the VHL Enquiry Desk on the ground floor.

University members can borrow books for one week at a time and renew up to 9 times online,by phone or in person. Library Use Only books will remain for reference only within the library.

Reference-only books are now held in the VHL's closed stack.

Deliveries of Closed Stack items

Closed Stack items requested to Radcliffe Science Library locations are now being delivered to the VHL, and can be picked up from the VHL service desk on the ground floor of the library. 

We constantly monitor how our collections are being used and therefore have very good data on what books are being borrowed or used in the library. However, if you cannot find a specific book that you feel should be on our open shelves then please do let us know. Any book sent offsite can be put back on to open shelves within a day or two and will be if requested.

RSL shelfmarks - Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences

RSL shelfmarks - Medical Sciences 


After the refurbishment of the RSL

The RSL will move back into the newly refurbished premises towards the end of 2021, when we will be sharing the building with Reuben College. The RSL will continue to be the main science library of the Bodleian Libraries. The refurbished RSL will be a much more comfortable and modern space with improved facilities and will be open to all members of the University and the Bodleian, in the same location as it is now. The library will hold a large collection of undergraduate and graduate textbooks for students to consult or borrow including all MPLS and non-clinical MSD reading list materials and thousands of other textbooks. Library users will also be able to order books from our Book Storage Facility to use in the RSL.

You can find out more about the new RSL and the Reuben College Project, including the latest plans for the library spaces, at www.ox.ac.uk/about/organisation/future-projects/parks-college. Regular updates on developments will be posted on this page.

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