Service updates

Updates on services, resources, and support available to help you carry on with your work and research.

We are working hard to offer as many services as possible in line with government and University of Oxford guidelines.

We'll keep this page – and our Twitter feed – up to date with the latest information. For further help or questions, please email or use our Live Chat service.

Page last updated: 6 April 2021

Latest service changes

Following government and University guidance there are a number of services changes in operation. We will continue to review our services in response to the changing situation throughout term.

Libraries reopening

We are gradually reopening our libraries.

You must book in advance via Space Finder and now requires your SSO (single sign-on) to log in. Some libraries are operating a separate booking system – check the individual library for details.

Our libraries will only be open to current University members who have been invited back to Oxford, or remained over the vacation. 

Our remaining libraries are temporarily closed.

COVID-19 safety

The Bodleian Libraries have updated conditions of access.

You must wear a face covering properly in our libraries including when sitting at a desk. If you are medically exempt, we request you display an exemption card or sunflower during your visit. Alternatively you can confirm to a staff member on arrival that you are exempt to avoid being disturbed during your visit. We will not ask for details of the reasons for this exemption.

Please stay alert when using our buildings:

  • Keep your 2 metre distance
  • Wash your hands
  • Wear a face covering (or display an exemption card)
  • Have symptoms? Stay at home and get a test
  • Contacted by track and trace? Stay at home

Readers that compromise our practices will be asked to leave. Thank you for working with us to protect our community.

More details about visiting our libraries.

Remote and low contact services

The following services are continuing to run across all closed libraries:

More about our remote access services

HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access

We have reinstated our emergency access arrangement with the HathiTrust.

This service enables on-screen read access to 1.5 million in-copyright items in the HathiTrust Digital Library, which have been verified as held in the Bodleian's collection in physical form (in addition to approx 4 million public domain items already available); these materials will be unavailable for Click & Collect. The majority of the collection is in Humanities subjects.

This service is available for University members.

You can access resources directly using your SSO on the HathiTrust website. Or use the links from existing records in SOLO where a digital copy is available via HathiTrust.

HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access review

We will review our emergency access with the HathiTrust after the government has issued guidance on the further return of students to universities (expected Monday 5 April 2021 at the earliest) and the University has stated its plans.

To help plan for teaching and exams during Trinity term, we will aim to provide as much notice as possible (at least 2 weeks) of when emergency access will cease. Once emergency access has ceased, the physical copies of these texts would then be accessible via the libraries and we will return to our normal HathiTrust access of 4 million public domain items.

Stack deliveries

University members can order items from the closed stacks to one of our open reading rooms.

To make use of closed stack deliveries from the Book Storage Facility (BSF), check SOLO for availability in your chosen library, ensuring you have booked a seat in the reading room beforehand.

Inter-library loans

We are currently unable to process requests for physical inter-library loans. Requests for electronic copies will be processed where possible. 

Loan returns

The loan return period has been extended until 29 April 2021 across all libraries except the Cairns Library.

If you are in Oxford, items should be returned to the library from which they were borrowed or via a temporary loan return hub.

If you are not in Oxford, you can send items to us using the Royal Mail Tracked service or contact us if you are based internationally.

How to return loans.


Fines for overdue books are currently suspended, we will inform readers when they are reinstated.

Self-isolating students

If you are self-isolating but need to borrow or return items you can:

Bodleian Reader card holders

Given pressure on spaces in our reading rooms, and the continued requirement to follow government coronavirus guidance, we are currently only offering access to University of Oxford students and staff. These are only temporary measures and we are keeping the position under constant review.

We hope to welcome all readers back to our physical libraries as soon as we possibly can.

Until then, we would like to remind those readers unable to book reading room spaces at the moment, that we continue to have a broad array of online services that are still available: 

  • OffsiteScan – free scans from our offsite facility which holds over 10 million items. Requires a valid reader card.
  • Open Access eresources – use the Open Access filter in SOLO to find journals, articles and books that are available to all to read
  • Databases – many of our databases are also open to all. Please look for the circle symbol in our Databases A-Z

Please note, the Admissions Office is temporarily closed and is unable to issue new or renew expired cards. We apologise for any inconvenience.

From 6 April 2021, a number a seats at the Weston Library will be available to Bodleian Reader card holders from outside the University. We invite applications from those who can demonstrate that they:

  • Need to consult specific special collections items
  • Need to see those items in order to complete time-critical projects
  • Need to see original items as opposed to digital copies (usually available free of charge through our mediated copying service)

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