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.

Items can be borrowed from lending libraries by using self scan machines or checking out at the information desk.

Our Click and Collect and Browse and Borrow services have stopped. If you are unable to visit a library in person to borrow items, please nominate someone to collect available books on your behalf by emailing full details to the relevant library.

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

Many libraries offer vacation borrowing, which extends ordinary loan periods.

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 one or more items on your account that are sufficiently overdue to be considered lost books

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

Return items

Standard loan periods are now in operation across all our libraries. Please check individual libraries for details.

All books must be returned to the library they were borrowed from.

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