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Bodleian Library (Old Library & Radcliffe Camera): Open Shelf & Closed Access Material

Open Shelf Material

The Bodleian's open shelf collections mainly serve the core Humanities subjects: Classics, English, History, Philosophy and Theology. Bodleian books are reference-only and cannot be borrowed.

When taking a book from reading room open shelves, readers should fill out an "open shelf slip" to indicate the item is in use. These can be found in each reading room, on window sills or at the ends of rolling shelves. Readers may take books from open shelves and use them in other reading rooms in the library. Open shelf material is replaced throughout the day if left on replacement trolleys or if it appears to be finished with on empty desks.

Pictures of Bodleian Upper Reading Room and Upper Gladstone Link

Closed Access Material

The majority of the Bodleian's holdings are in offsite storage. As such this material is not immediately available and needs to be ordered to a reading room by placing an online Request via our main resource discovery tool, SOLO. In order to place a request, you must identify yourself in SOLO by signing-in at the top right of the page.

Screenshot of SOLO sign-in area

If you are a current member of the University, sign in using your Oxford Single Sign On (SSO).  If you are not a current member of the University (e.g., registered external readers or alumni), sign in as an 'Other Bodleian Card Holder' using your Bodleian Library Account user-name and password. For more details on how to sign-in to SOLO, please see the section "Signing in to Use Library Resources and Services" in this guide. More help with using SOLO is available in the Oxford LibGuide to using SOLO.

Readers can have a maximum of 10 'in process' requests at a time via SOLO (requests are 'in-process' from the point of request to the point of being scanned in at the chosen reading room or library). Closed stack loans get an initial loan period of 7 days from delivery. These items can be renewed online from your Library account, which is accessed from SOLO when you are signed in. This will extend a loan for a further 7 days from the date of renewal. Bodleian closed stack loans may be renewed indefinitely unless another reader places a hold on the item. Note that Bodleian books cannot be borrowed and are on loan to a reading room from storage for reference only.