What do I have to do?

The current process for the issue of Bodleian Reader cards is the same for both first-time applications and renewals and is as follows:

  • All applicants are required to complete a new Bodleian Libraries' Admissions form for each new Bodleian Reader Card to be issued, and to bring this to the Bodleian Libraries' Admissions Office, in person.
  • All applicants must complete the Statement of Research Need.
  • All applicants are required, at admission, to show two forms of identity for each new Bodleian Reader Card to be issued (one form of personal identification, and one form of proof of address) and staff and students of academic institutions are additionally required to provide additional proof of status and duration of status.
  • Applicants are not required to make an appointment for admission, simply to visit us during the Bodleian Libraries' Admissions Office's usual opening hours, and applicants are not required to send Bodleian Libraries' Admissions forms or supporting documents in advance of visits for admission.

Bodleian Libraries' Admission form

When completing the Bodleian Libraries' Admission form, please leave the section marked 'STAFF USE ONLY' blank.

Personal Details

The first side of the Bodleian Libraries' Admission form asks you to give personal details and to select your current status as one of the following:

Taught Postgraduate* (this includes all postgraduate courses with a taught element)
Research Postgraduate* (this includes PhD programs or equivalent and masters by research only)
Academic Staff
Independent Researcher
Commercial Researcher
Charity Researcher
OUP Staff

Your current status will determine the terms of access to the Bodleian Libraries and the type of Bodleian Reader Card with which you will be issued.

For students of universities overseas, we understand that higher education systems may function differently. If you are unsure which option best describes your current status, please contact us in advance of your visit so that we can advise accordingly.

*Access to the Bodleian Libraries for undergraduates and taught postgraduates, as a matter of policy, is usually only provided outside of full term for the University of Oxford. Find out about upcoming term dates.

Statement of Research Need

The second side of the Bodleian Libraries' Admissions form asks you complete your Statement of Research Need and to sign and date.

The Statement of Research Need is where you can tell us why you need to use the Bodleian Libraries and outline any materials that may be useful to you as part of your research.

When completing the Statement of Research Need it is useful to have consulted SOLO (the Bodleian Libraries' online catalogue) and to include a list of resources you wish to consult.

SOLO is searchable from any location with internet access. It is not necessary to hold a Bodleian Reader Card to search the catalogue in preparation of an application.

SOLO allows readers to search for all catalogued modern printed materials (usually classified as all books, printed journals and newspapers, maps and music printed after 1800, unless they are considered Special Collections materials) and e-resources available in Bodleian Libraries accessible with Bodleian Reader Cards.

For more information on early printed resources, and Special Collections materials (manuscript and archival material of any date, ephemera, material published before 1801, material in a named collection, or other rare material), which may not be searchable through SOLO, please contact Special Collections directly:

Email: specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Telephone: 01865 277150 (+44 1865 277150 from outside the United Kingdom)

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