Can I pre-order material?

Readers hoping to view reading material on the same day as they visit for admission are advised to check that the material will be available and to pre-order, following the procedure below.

If reading material is not pre-ordered we cannot guarantee that it will be possible to consult it on the same day as we are visited for admission.

Modern Printed Material

Modern printed material (usually classified as all books, printed journals and newspapers, maps and music printed after 1801) held by the Bodleian Libraries is divided into two categories: open shelf and closed stack.

Open shelf material is available for readers to browse and to access directly in reading rooms: it is not necessary to order this material into reading rooms in advance of a visit.

Closed stack material is held offsite, in the Bodleian Storage Facility, and must be ordered by all readers into reading rooms in advance of a visit.  

Both categories are searchable through SOLO, the Bodleian Libraries' online catalogue. When searching, under the 'find & request' tab, provided for each search result, more information is given about the material's location. If it is labelled as closed stack it will need to be ordered in advance.

Holders of Bodleian Reader Cards are able to request closed stack material from the catalogue into reading rooms themselves using the login details which are given at admission.  

Applicants not currently in possession of a Bodleian Reader Card and readers in possession of an expired Bodleian Reader Card who are wishing to renew their card are unable to request closed material in this way. However, it is possible to contact Reader Services by email and to request that material be delivered into a reading room so that it can be consulted on the same day as applicants visit for admission.

In order to request closed stack material, Reader Services should be contacted directly with the details of the material that is to be consulted from SOLO, within five days of the anticipated visit:          


Telephone: +44 (0)1865 277162

Special Collections

Applicants seeking access to Special Collections (manuscript and archival material of any date, ephemera, material published before 1801, material in a named collection, or other rare material) are advised to contact the department in advance of a visit in order to ensure that material to be consulted will be available for consultation of the day of the anticipated visit.

Also Special Collections material is classified as closed stack and will need to be pre-ordered.

Rare books which have been catalogued are searchable through SOLO, the Bodleian Libraries' online catalogue. However, manuscripts and other archival material will be catalogued in a different format. Enquiries relating to specific collections and where to find more information regarding Special Collections material can also be directed to the department.


Telephone: +44 (0)1865 277150

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