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Socio-Legal Studies: Books

Subjects: Criminology, Law, Sociology


The majority of books held by the Bodleian Libraries, in both physical and electronic formats, can be searched via SOLO. On this page you will find recommended books, guidance on how to search for and access print and ebooks, and libraries in the University that might be relevant for your studies and research.

Physical books

Use the tabs above to explore the key texts and libraries for students of socio-legal studies. Access to collections and borrowing privileges are subject to conditions; please check individual library websites for further information.

Help with books

For those wishing to learn more about searching for physical collections in Oxford, we recommend the following:

Below you will find some key texts for socio-legal studies. The links will take you through to SOLO where you can find out how to access the books.

Please pay particular attention to the location details - which Bodleian library holds the copy - as your research interests may well lead to more than one collection. The books below have been chosen to illustrate this point.

A final category of books are those which are Stored Offsite. Readers are welcome to use the Request from Closed Stacks service to have such volumes delivered to the Bodleian Reading Room of their choice. In the example below there is a second link for holders of an Oxford SSO happy to read the volumes online.

The Social Science Library maintains a High Demand Collection containing high demand reading list texts for social science taught courses. Items display the status ‘High Demand’ on SOLO and have 'High Demand’ shelfmarkers. This works are not restricted to those on taught courses.

Browsing the library's print collections can help you find relevant resources as the books are shelved in subject order, so you'll find related books shelved together.

The SSL uses the Library of Congress classification scheme to classify books by subject matter. The book collection is arranged along one side of the library by shelfmark in an A-Z sequence. 

The Bodleian Law Library's collection is spread over four floors all accessible to readers via stairs or lift. Staff are always available at the Enquiry Desk just inside the entrance to help with directions - please fell free to ask!

The Bodleian Law Library maintains a Law Reserve Collection containing high demand reading list texts for the OU Law Faculty's taught courses. Items display the status ‘Res Books' on SOLO and have 'Reserve Collection’ shelfmarkers. These books are not restricted to those on taught courses, but please come to the Law Enquiry Desk - armed with your University or Bodleian Reader's Card - and ask for them there.

On Level 2 (the entrance level) are the current/latest editions of books on the law of these jurisdictions. UK &NI, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and USA. Also on this floor are the collections on legal philosophy, comparative studies, Roman law and legal history.

On Level 3 are the current/latest editions of criminology books with shelf marks beginning Crim.  Another collection on this floor is public international law , including international human rights. (These books have shelfmarks beginning Internat.) Also on this floor are books dealing with the law of the European Union, and the individual countries of Europe.

On Level 1 are books dealing with the law of foreign jurisdictions not already mentioned.

On Level 0 (the ground floor) is the secondary collection of most the superseded editions of texts on this topic. Some of the least used with are kept off site, but may easily be requested to the Reading Room via SOLO.


A number of other libraries may be of relevance to those studying socio-legal studies. The Bodleian Libraries are made up of over 30 libraries across Oxford including major research libraries and faculty, department and institute libraries.

Depending on your area of research, there may be other Oxford based libraries which could support your studies:

Electronic books (ebooks)

Ebooks are digital versions of written works. Broadly speaking they come in two forms: they are either 'born digital' or are digital reproductions of printed books. See the tabs above for details of different ebook resources relevant to those studying socio-legal studies.


Many ebooks have enhanced functionality, such as connectivity with reference management software, the ability to annotate and accessibility features.


Members of Oxford University can use ebooks that the Bodleian Libraries have purchased for free. Search for them on SOLO. They can be read on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, e-reader or mobile phone; you just need your Oxford Single Sign On to access them. Individually purchased ebooks are all searchable on SOLO, but not all purchased ebook collections are, so it is important to visit the websites of ebook collections too. Look at the 'ebook collections' tab above.

Note, some ebooks have restrictive access and usage terms, for example they can only be read by one person at a time.

Some books are acquired via 'electronic Legal Deposit'. These must be read on a library desktop computer in one of the Bodleian Libraries. Further information on how to identify and access electronic Legal Deposit items on SOLO is at the link below.

Help with ebooks

The links below are provided for those wishing to learn more about ebooks.

Below you will find some key texts available as ebooks for socio-legal studies


You will need your Oxford Single Sign On to access the ebooks if you are not on the University network.

The following is a list of ebook collections applicable to those studying socio-legal studies at Oxford. Not all ebook collections are available on SOLO, so it is important to visit ebook collection websites to expand your search. You can browse and search across all ebooks on the provider's website and encounter titles of interest you may not have otherwise found.


The ebook collections have been selected by the Bodleian Libraries and you are able to access them for free because of institutional subscriptions to the content. You will need your Oxford Single Sign On to access the collections if you are not on the University network.

A number of eresources, including ebook collections, are freely available online and listed below.


Some of these resources are listed on SOLO but not all, so it is important to visit the websites to expand your search. You do not need your Oxford Single Sign On to access them. These are different to the ebooks purchased by the Bodleian Libraries for which you need your Single Sign On for access.

[Note for staff (delete before publishing): add any free online resources that include ebook collections for your subject area that are not below.]

You will find study skills resources compiled by Bodleian Libraries staff available on Oxford Reading List Online (ORLO).


You will need your Oxford Single Sign On credentials to access the list.

For in detail legal research tips, please see this separate Law Bod guide

Recommend a book

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the print or ebook you are looking for, you can make a recommendation by completing the form below (Oxford Single-Sign On required).

Inter-library loans

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the book you are looking for, we may be able to source it through Oxford's inter-library loan service.

Why are some books not available electronically?

There are a number of reasons why the Bodleian Libraries may be unable to provide electronic access to a resource. The ebooks guide explains some of these reasons:


We accept no responsibility for the content of these external websites, which may have their own terms and conditions.