Getting a Bodleian Reader Card

Page updated: 17 August 2020

The Bodleian Libraries have begun a phased reopening. Visits will need to be booked in advance. View the timetable, book a timeslot, and find out what to expect during your visit. Please note that you will need to have a valid Bodleian Reader Card in order to book a slot.

The Admissions team have restarted processing renewal requests only, but the Admissions Office will remain closed to the public for the time being. We regret that we are currently unable to process applications from first-time applicants, but hope to be able to do so in the near future. Updates will be announced on this webpage.

Priority will be given to readers who need to:

Please contact us at for instructions on how to renew your card. In your email, please provide both:

  • a copy of a photo ID document (eg passport or driving licence) to identify you on our database; and
  • the titles of the material you would like to consult initially.

If you would like to consult Special Collections material, please first email the team at

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We look forward to hearing from you.

Who is eligible to apply for a Bodleian Reader Card?

The Bodleian Libraries welcomes applications both from academically-affiliated as well as independent individuals who are conducting academic, professional or private research.

Library access can be provided to any individual upon establishing a research need, and presenting the required forms of identity. An 'appropriate research need' will mean a need to use the printed or electronic collections held by the Bodleian Libraries as part of academic, professional or private research.

We are unable to admit readers who are only seeking a quiet space in which to work or who wish to access the Bodleian Libraries for purposes other than the consultation of the printed or electronic collections the Libraries hold.

Applicants must normally be over 18 years of age at the time they are applying in order to be considered for a Bodleian Reader Card.

Please note that the Bodleian Libraries does not issue any letters of invitation for visa, funding or for any other purpose, and we do not engage into any correspondence to that end.

If you are eligible, please apply for a Bodleian Reader Card.

Back to top