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SOLO - Search Oxford Libraries Online: Coverage

Purpose of this guide

This guide is intended for students and researchers at the University of Oxford, or those visiting, who seek support in using the Bodleian Libraries resource discovery tool SOLO.

Use this guide to find out about what is in SOLO, how to search SOLO, how to use your account and to make the most of the services available via SOLO.

New to the Bodleian Libraries? 
Please view our welcome video introducing the Bodleian Libraries and information about changes to our services to ensure you can study and research safely.

What is SOLO and what does it cover?

Search Oxford Libraries Online (SOLO) is the search and discovery tool of the major collections of the libraries of the University of Oxford

What is the coverage of SOLO?
What will I find in 'Search Everything'?
What will I find in 'Oxford Collections'?
What will I find in 'Articles'?
How do I search for specialist materials?

SOLO covers:

  • The physical holdings of the majority of libraries within the University of Oxford including the Bodleian Libraries and most college and departmental libraries
  • The University's collections of e-books, e-journals, articles online and databases available from our publisher subscriptions
  • Materials which the Bodleian Libraries receive via electronic legal deposit (eLD)
  • Research papers and theses deposited in the Oxford Research Archive (ORA)

The default is ‘Search Everything’. Use the dropdown to select other search options including individual libraries.

Search Everything

Is a combined search of 'Oxford collections' and 'Articles'  

Oxford Collections 

'Oxford Collections' is the best option to use when searching for a specific item in Oxford's printed or online* collections (excludes electronic Legal Deposit material). It searches:

1. Printed and Physical Holdings

'Oxford Collections' searches the vast majority of the printed and physical holdings of the Bodleian Libraries and most Colleges and other libraries affiliated with the University of Oxford.  At the moment it does not search:

  • most manuscript collections (with the exception of theses) held in Bodleian Libraries. For information about catalogues and finding aids covering the Bodleian's manuscript collections please see the Special Collections guide
  • the John Johnson Collection of printed ephemera

2.  Online books, journals and databases

'Oxford/Collections' searches the electronic holdings of the Bodleian Libraries including our world class collections of subscription e-journals, e-books and databases.

BrowZine: Streamlined access to online journals licensed by the Bodleian Libraries directly from SOLO,  the BrowZine website or Chrome extension is available to all readers with a Single Sign On 

*Please note that when you search for journals and databases in the 'Oxford Collections' option you can only search by journal or database title. You can not search within the journal or database itself. For example, in 'Oxford Collections' you can search for the journal Nature but you can not search for articles within Nature.  Similarly you can search for the database JSTOR but you can not search for articles within JSTOR. If you want to search for articles within journals and databases from SOLO use the 'Articles' option instead.  You can search for e-books by author, title or subject headings, but again you can not search within e-books, e.g. for chapter titles or specific words, using 'Oxford Collections'.

3. Items scanned as part of the Oxford Google Books Project

'Oxford Collections' searches scanned versions of (mainly 19th century) library materials digitised as part of the Oxford Google Books project.   

4. Oxford University Research Archive (ORA)

'Oxford Collections' searches research papers and theses by members of the University of Oxford,  which have been deposited in the Oxford Research Archive.


The Articles option searches for journal articles and papers drawn from these sources:

1. Primo Central - Primo Central is a cross-disciplinary resource comprising citations to about 400 million journal articles.  Please note that Primo Central performs a broad search engine type search which is comparable to Google Scholar and lacks many of the features and functionality of specialist subject databases. If you need to complete a thorough literature or systematic review, you are therefore advised to consult specialist databases in your subject area or to seek help from your subject librarian

2. Journal articles deposited via Electronic Legal Deposit.  

3. Articles from ORA (Oxford University Research Archive).

Specialist materials

At the moment SOLO does not search:

  • most manuscript collections (with the exception of theses) held in the Bodleian Libraries
  • the John Johnson Collection of printed ephemera

Take a look at Finding specialist materials for help with navigating these, and other specialist, materials.


Trying to find SOLO?

SOLO Top Tips

Video created by Becci Hutchins and Catherine Dockerty. Created 18th May 2020.


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