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Rare Books in the Bodleian Library: Contact Us

Guide to using Rare Books in the Bodleian Library

French book of hours


All enquiries: or see our website

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The Centre for the Study of the Book provides a common ground for scholars and librarians with shared interests in understanding, documenting, and interpreting the intellectual and material history of the book.

Restricted Books

In most cases items are restricted due to outstanding rarity and value (select), physical condition, or are subject to legal restraints (reserved).

The SOLO catalogue entry will indicate that they cannot be ordered electronically but many of the ‘select’ books are available to readers in print, film or digital facsimile.If you feel your research requires access to the original, please contact staff in Rare Books directly (e-mail:, giving as much notice as possible (at least 24 hours), and stating why it is that you wish to see a restricted book.

They will normally be available in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room Mondays to Fridays by 10am; they must be returned to the staff by 4pm on the day of issue. Visiting researchers from outside Oxford are advised to book in advance as seating is at a premium at certain times of the year (notably Hilary (Spring) Term and the summer months). For advice please email



Undergraduates are issued with an "S" card which does not allow you to order pre 1701 printed material via SOLO.

If you are interested in consulting this material please get in touch with us in the Rare Books Department. If electronic surrogates are available readers are asked to consult these in the first instance but if you would like to see the physical copies send us an email (with 48 hours notice before you intend to visit) detailing your research needs and we will be happy to help.