Borrow and reserve items

Find out how to borrow, return, order and reserve items from the Bodleian Libraries.


There are 23 lending Bodleian Libraries.

Only University of Oxford staff and students can borrow items from our lending libraries. If you are a Bodleian Reader card holder you have reference-only access to our material.

Not all of our items can be borrowed, some are reference-only for all readers. Check an individual library for more details about what can and cannot be borrowed.

You can see which items can be borrowed on SOLO, the main catalogue. Items can be found on open shelves in the libraries or requested from our storage facilities.

You can currently borrow items from us with two services:


Request your items and collect them from your chosen library.

  1. Log in to SOLO using your Single-Sign On
  2. Search SOLO for your chosen item
  3. Select one of the libraries which has an available copy
  4. If the item is eligible for Click and Collect, you will see a “Request” button

Items accessible via the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service are not eligible for request via Click and Collect. Please use the electronic versions of these items instead.

You will be notified in 1–3 working days to book a collection date and time.

When you come to collect your items please:

  • Bring your University Card or another photo ID
  • Wear a face covering
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Follow any other instructions marked or given by staff

More information about what to expect what you visit our libraries.

You can nominate another person to collect books on your behalf in a free-text field on the booking form. They will need to bring their photo ID when they come to collect your books.

If the item you want is already on loan to another reader, you can reserve it.

Please note, not all lending libraries are running a Click and Collect service. Libraries which are offering Click and Collect.

To cancel a request or ask any other question, please contact the individual library.

If you have any accessibility concerns about collecting your items, please contact the individual library.


Book a time to come and browse the shelves in our libraries and select the books you want to borrow.

  1. Book a Browse and Borrow timeslot at your chosen library
  2. You will receive a confirmation email for your booking

If you would like to borrow and also work in the library, you should book a desk space instead of a Browse and Borrow timeslot.

When you arrive at the library to browse:

  • Bring your University Card
  • Wear a face covering
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Follow any other instructions marked or given by staff
  • Use the self-issue machines where possible

Libraries which are offering Browse and Borrow.

To cancel your Browse and Borrow slot, please follow the link in your confirmation email.

Reserve items on loan to someone else

You can reserve items that are on loan to someone else.

SOLO guide for reserving items on loan to someone else

Loan periods and renewals limits

Each library has their own borrowing policy that determines:

  • the number of items you can have on loan each time
  • how long you can borrow an item

Find my library’s borrowing policy

If you have disclosed a disability, you may benefit from extended loan periods or proxy borrowing.

Renew items

You can renew your items on SOLO, or at a library desk when the library is open.

Some libraries will also allow you to renew items by email or by phone. If you are not using SOLO, renewal requests must be handled by the library from which the item was borrowed.

Guide for renewing your items on SOLO

Check your renewals are successful. If a renewal is not successful, this may be because:

  • the item has reached its maximum number of renewals
  • the item has been reserved by another reader
  • you have fines of £10 or more on your account

If you think there may be a problem, contact the library from which you borrowed the item.

Lost items

If you have lost an item borrowed from one of the Bodleian Libraries, contact the library from which the item was borrowed with the author’s name, the title of the book, the shelfmark (if possible) and your name and email address.

If the book is not found, you will usually be required to pay a lost book charge.

More about borrowing from the Bodleian Libraries

Related links