Skip to main content

Legal resources at Oxford University: Law at Oxford

Gallery

View of the St Cross Building which is home to both the Bodleian Law Library and the Law Faculty of Oxford University 

View of the main Reading Room, which is immediately inside the entrance, from the Gallery or Floor 3. There are always members of staff available to help you find your way around the open-shelf collection, which is over four floors.

When the Law Library opened in 1964 it was among the first pieces of "modern" architecture to be built in post WW2 Oxford.
Picture credits
1 & 3  KT Bruce
2 Jerry Phillips

Reading law at Oxford: where to begin

The Bodleian Law Library has begun a phased reopening.

From 7th September to 11th September and 14th September to 18th September our hours will be Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. During this time only the Reading Room floor (floor 2) is open to readers with socially distanced seating available in the central section. (Staff will be happy to fetch volumes from other floors for readers.)

  Readers wishing to return during this period are asked to book a seat in advance

The Law Bod subscribes to a wide range of electronic legal databases which can be used by all current full OU members with an Oxford Single Sign-On username and password (Oxford SSO).  Consequently, Oxford SSO holders have access a considerable library of legislation, law reports, law journals and e-books - from many jurisdictions & across most legal subjects - wherever they have access to the internet.

Note: For licensing reasons, most legal databases require an Oxford SSO so are not available to visiting readers.

Below are the links to the major subscription databases for the study of English law available to holders of an Oxford SSO. (Both Lexis@Library & Westlaw UK also have large collections of foreign & international materials too!)

To discover the full range of subscription databases for law available to holders of an Oxford SSO, together with some reliable, freely accessible online resources, please explore the Law Bod's collection of online Libguides via one or more of the links below:

Following guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England, the Law Library closed to readers on the 17 March 2020 until further notice. The health, welfare and safety of readers and staff is our number one priority.

Please do check the Bodleian Law Library website and Bodleian Twitter for the latest information.  The law library team can still be contacted by email law.library@bodleian.ox.ac.uk. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

The Bodleian Law Library

The Law Bod is in the St Cross Building Manor Rd OX1 3UR. This is about a 10 to 15 minute walk from the central Bodleian area off Broad St where the original Bodleian Library (aka The Old Bod), the Radcliffe Camera, and the Weston Library (formerly the New Bodleian) are grouped.

Welcome to Alumni & Visiting Researchers
The Law Library is committed to supporting academic legal research.
Should you wish to use the Law Library please complete the formalities required to get a Bodleian Reader's Card at the Central Admissions Office on the ground floor of the Weston Library, Broad Street, before coming on to the Law Library.

Please Note: For licensing reasons, most legal databases are only available to holders of an Oxford Single Sign On

The entire collection is reference only: we do not lend; no one may borrow! 

The vast majority of our collection is immediately available on open shelves. Please do ask a member of staff for more specific directions around the collection once you are in the library, it is arranged over 4 floors.

What titles do we have?

Our collection is catalogued on SOLO: you could search in advance of a visit, making note of the call numbers (shelf marks) of the items you would like to read. The floor plan (above) may mean you can find them for yourself - but please don't hesitate to ask a librarian, we are happy to show you the way.

Law Library: Reserve Collection

When you search SOLO for texts you may find - especially if it is a text which is recommended on an undergraduate Reading List - that the location is shown as "Law Library Reserve Collection."  Armed with your University Card/Reader's Ticket, please ask for these books from the Enquiry Desk.

The guide below should help you make efficient use of SOLO - but please do feel free to ask for further help/clarification when you are in the Library.

Law students at Oxford are supported in their legal studies by their own (private) college libraries, and the University library,  the Bodleian Law Library (aka the Law Bod or BLL). There is no separate Law Faculty library at Oxford.

Other Bodleian Libraries

A number of other Bodleian libraries in Oxford can be useful for advanced legal research or when your topic is interdisciplinary. The list  below is not exhaustive: part of the joy of Oxford is discovering its libraries & their riches!

Considering Studying Law?

Finding the Bodleian Law Library

The Bodleian Law Library is in the St Cross Building, Manor Rd, Oxford OX1 3UR