Planning to Use Special Collections?

Who can read here?

We welcome academics, students of all levels and independent researchers to consult our collections any time we are open. To consult manuscripts, special collections and rare books a full and unrestricted Bodleian readerís card (Group A) is required. You should apply for your card at the Admissions Office.

Oxford Students

Oxford undergraduates and some taught postgraduates are automatically issued with a standard (S) readerís card or a vacation (V) card. This does not grant access to manuscripts, archive material, rare books or music special collections. To obtain permission to consult these special collections, or to request more detailed information, please contact us prior to your visit by writing to

How do I get a reader's card?

To obtain a Group A Bodleian reader's card, which will give you access to rare books and manuscripts, you should bring a completed application form (both parts A and B) to the Bodleian Libraries' Admissions Office, together with personal identification (e.g. passport) and proof of current address (e.g. UK driving licence, utility bill).

The Admissions Office is in the Weston Library on Broad Street (open 09.00-16.30 weekdays, 10.15-13.30 Saturdays).

For complete details of the admissions procedure, go to the Admissions web pages where you can download the application form for a reader's card.

Where can I read special collections?

Our reading room pages will tell you where special collections are read and how you order material. 

Stay up to date with collection moves

For the latest information on special collections moves, including where particular collections can now be consulted, please see the collection moves pages.

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