All members of Oxford University and anyone with a valid Bodleian Librariesí readerís card may use the library. The library is for reference use for most readers; there is a limited lending service to academic staff and graduate students associated with the Rothermere American Institute.
If you do not have a Bodleian card and wish to visit the library for research purposes, please contact the Librarian.
Before completing your application for a Bodleian Reader Card, please read the information below carefully in order to ascertain your current status using the links provided.
If you do not hold a current formal affiliation to a College, Department, or institution at the University of Oxford, and require access to the Bodleian Libraries, you will need to apply for a Bodleian Reader Card.
Alternatively, if you are already affiliated with the University you will have access to the Bodleian Libraries via different methods.
If you are currently:
- Attached to a College, Department, or institution as an employee, student, or academic visitor at the University of Oxford, hold a degree from the University of Oxford, or if you are a retired staff member of the University of Oxford, view our Information for staff, students and graduates;
- Participating in a study abroad programme or summer school within Oxford, or if you are currently affiliated to a study school within Oxford, view our Information for staff and students of summer schools;
- Working for the NHS in Oxfordshire, view our Joining the library information.
How to apply
If you would like to apply for a Bodleian Reader Card, please see below for further information about how to proceed and what documents you will need to bring:
View more important information for applicants.
The Bodleian Libraries welcomes applications from both 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. Applicants must normally be over 18 years of age to be considered for a Bodleian Reader Card.
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 for access to the Bodleian Libraries for purposes other than the consultation of the printed or electronic collections they hold.
If you have any further unanswered questions relating to the admission process or requirements, please contact us before your visit.
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 this end.
Rules of Conduct
On admission to the Bodleian Libraries, all readers agree to abide by the Rules of Conduct and to adhere to the spirit of the Bodleian Declaration:
I hereby undertake not to remove from the Library, or to mark, deface, or injure in any way, any volume, document, or other object belonging to it or in its custody; not to bring into the Library or kindle therein any fire or flame, and not to smoke in the Library; and I promise to obey all rules of the Library.
Access to the Bodleian Libraries is a privilege for all applicants, and the Bodleian Libraries reserves the right to refuse to issue a Bodleian Reader Card.