With 27 libraries and reading rooms in some of Oxford's most historic buildings, physical access to Bodleian Libraries' collections may be difficult for wheelchair users and those with mobility difficulties.
Access to the Bodleian Libraries
The University Access Guide provides more details about access to each of the Bodleian Libraries, including parking and who to contact with any access queries.
You can locate each of the Bodleian Libraries on our map
If you are new to the libraries, we offer one-to-one library inductions for disabled students.
Access to collections
If collections in a library or reading room are not accessible to you, we can make alternative arrangements. Staff can fetch materials from areas of the library you are not able to access. We may be able to divert materials to an accessible reading room (48 hours’ notice needed). If you would like further details, contact the Disability Librarian.
Support workers or non-medical helpers
If you need the help of a support worker or non-medical helper while using the Bodleian Libraries, they may be given a Bodleian Reader's card free of charge to allow them access. Contact the Admissions Office for more information.
Clinically vulnerable readers
Some areas of 2m+ socially distanced seats are available in many reading rooms to support readers who are clinically vulnerable or anxious about social distancing. Readers with a referral from the Disability Advisory Service and the Disability Librarian are able to reserve these socially distanced seats. Other readers may use them on a walk-in/first-come basis. If you would like to be able to reserve these seats, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
Assistive animals, such as guide dogs for the blind and hearing dogs for the deaf, will always be admitted with readers.
You can find detailed information about the assistive facilities and equipment available in the Bodleian Libraries on the Access Guide. You are welcome to bring your own assistive technology to any library.
Most Bodleian Libraries offer fixed or portable hearing loops.
Most of the Bodleian Libraries offer a library toolkit, which includes:
- handheld magnifiers
- coloured acetate sheets
- coloured paper
- daylight lamps/task lights
- ear plugs
- foam book rests.
Ask library staff if you would like to use any of these.
Many of the Bodleian Libraries offer ergonomic chairs and height-adjustable tables for sitting or standing. If you would like to use the furniture at one of the libraries, get in touch with the library’s disability liaison librarian.
The following libraries offer both height-adjustable tables and ergonomic chairs:
Ergonomic chairs are available at the Continuing Education Library and the Education Library.
In addition to handheld magnifiers, a CCTV magnifier is available to use in the Upper Reading Room of the Bodleian Library.
We also offer a myReader Video Magnifier, which can be moved to different parts of the Bodleian Library. If you would like to use this equipment, please email Reader Services.
Da Vinci Pro CCTV/OCR Magnifiers are available in Taylor Institution Library and Social Science Library. The device can display high-definition, enlarged images, which may be of particular benefit to readers with low vision. The device’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) mode can take snapshots of text and convert them to speech. Please ask library staff if you would like to use one of the magnifiers.