Skip to main content

SOLO - Search Oxford Libraries Online (Classic): Requesting closed stack items

Help, feedback & workshops

Trying to find SOLO?

Chat to a Librarian:

chat loading...

Email a Librarian:  Use our Ask an Oxford librarian service.  Alternatively for detailed help with searching in your subject area please contact your subject librarian.

SOLO workshops - Book a place at our Getting Started workshop.

Items which are not held in Oxford? - If you wish to use an item which is not held in Oxford, it may be possible to request an interlibrary loan

SOLO Feedback - Please email

In this section...

About 7 million items are kept in the Bodleian Libraries closed stacks - the majority at our book storage facility at Swindon whilst others are stored more locally in Oxford.   To consult an item held in the closed stacks you will need to place a hold in SOLO. The item will then be delivered to a reading room of your choice.  Find out more about ordering from the closed stacks:

Requesting items from the closed stack

Requesting items from the closed stack and reserving items which are out to other readers

If you find an item which is held in "closed stacks" you will need to place a "hold".  The item will then be retrieved from the book stacks for you and delivered to a library or reading room of your choice.   Some items are held in local bookstacks and may be delivered very rapidly. Others are held in our remote store at Swindon and will take longer to arrive (see delivery times for more details).

You can also place a "hold" on an item which is out to another reader (indicated by a due date). See "Reserving items" for more information.

To place a hold request:

Once you have found an items which is in the "closed stacks":

  1. Sign on to SOLO using the options in the top right corner (see signing on to SOLO for more details)
  2. Click Hold
    SOLO screen shot showing placing a hold for a closed stack item

  3. Choose a Pickup Location.   The item will be delivered to this location for you.   Please note: if the item is in the closed stack you will probably not be able to take it away from the library.   You will therefore need to read the item in the library that you have chosen as your pickup location. 
  4. Optionally set a last interest date.   Please note that you order will be cancelled if it has not been delivered before your last interest date.
  5. You do not need to fill in the author, title, volume and notes sections unless you are requesting a journal or periodical part and have not been prompted to choose a volume and/or issue number already.


Tracking the progress of a request and cancelling requests

To check the progress of a request or to cancel a request choose My Account (top right), followed by Requests.


Once the item has arrived in the library/reading room and is available for you, it will move to the Loans section of My Account.  If we have a valid email address for you on file, you will receive an email notification that the item has arrived at this stage.

Cancelling requests - please note that it is not possible to cancel a request once it has left the closed stack for delivery.    The cancel option will disappear at this stage. If you would like to cancel your request at this stage please contact your chosen pickup location.

Request limits

Readers may place a maximum of 10 hold requests at any one time.

Once processed at the pickup location these items will be kept automatically for 7 days but may be renewed. Additional items may be ordered once the first 10 have been processed, although the maximum of 10 items at any one delivery location applies

Delivery times

View the current delivery schedule.  Please note that items requested on Saturday or Sunday, or during closed periods such as Easter or Christmas, will take longer to arrive.

Patrons can sign on and check the progress of any requests placed in the "My Account" area of SOLO. Patrons with a valid email address in the library account will also receive notification when their hold requests become available for consultation.

Ordering manuscripts

Please note that manuscripts cannot be ordered electronically via SOLO.

Bodleian Library

To find special collections at the Bodleian Library, including Western manuscripts, Oriental manuscripts and rare books, maps, music, printed ephemera and University Archives please see our Catalogues & Finding Aids pages.

Special collections are read in the Weston Library.

To pre-order up to ten manuscripts per day, please email the shelfmark, the date of your visit and your manuscripts access library card number to:

Other Bodleian Libraries

To find other Bodleian Libraries holding special collections, please see the Bodleian Libraries Manuscripts & Rare Books guide.