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Alexander Library of Ornithology Guide: Home

Opening hours


Due to the closure of the Tinbergen building (please see the official University announcement here -, the Alexander Library of Ornithology is moving to a temporary home in the Radcliffe Science Library. The Alexander Library collections will be kept together on Level 2 of the RSL. We expect the move to be completed by the start of Trinity term. Any queries relating to the move or accessing the Alexander collections in the interim should be directed to

I am available to answer enquiries during these hours:

MON-WED : 09.30 - 14.00

Please contact me at:

Publications using or about our collections:

About the Alexander Library of Ornithology

The Alexander Library of Ornithology is one of the foremost ornithological reference libraries in the world.  It holds extensive collections of 19th, 20th and 21st century books, pamphlets and periodicals, and an archive of ornithological notebooks and diaries. It is an international resource with the collections covering ornithology, natural history, conservation, ecology and behaviour.

Founded in the 1930's on the personal collections of Wilfred Backhouse Alexander, it was originally housed at 91 Banbury Road. W.B. Alexander was the first Director of the Oxford Bird Census (the predecessor of the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology) and on his retirement in 1945 he became the first Librarian, holding the position until 1955. The Library was named in his honour in 1947.

Today, much of the material within the collections is received via donation or through exchange schemes. The library enjoys a close relationship with the British Ornithologists' Union and books which have been reviewed within its journal, The Ibis, are subsequently deposited in the Alexander Library. The Library also houses the British Falconers' Club Library.

It has a stock of around 11,000+ books, 85,500 offprints/reports, 500 theses; some 500 current journals plus another 1,500 non-current.

Admissions policy

The Library is open for reference use only to all members of the University with a current University card and to holders of valid Bodleian Libraries cards. Members of the Edward Grey Institute are entitled to key fob out-of-hours access.

External visitors are welcome to visit and can be admitted on a one-off Day Pass on presentation of identification. Visitors must contact the library to make an appointment in advance of visiting.

If you wish to use the library for a longer period you will need to apply for a reader's ticket from the Bodleian Libraries Admissions office.

Where are we?

For local map please click here. (We are listed as Library No. 1).

The Alexander Library is based on the Ground Floor within the Department of Zoology, on the corner of South Parks Road and St Cross Road.

There is Pay & Display parking available in Mansfield Road but the Department is easily walkable from the city centre.

Alexander & Ornithology Subject Librarian

Sophie Wilcox
Alexander Library of Ornithology
Bodleian Libraries
+44 (0)1865 2-75082

Need Help?

For ornithology subject enquiries please contact Sophie Wilcox:

For other subject enquiries please check our Subjects page.

General information about Oxford University science libraries is available here.