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This page provides information on our specialist collections. For information on our general collections of printed and electronic books and journals please see Basics and Getting Started.
Special Collections in the Weston Library
Manuscripts, archives, rare books and printed ephemera
The Weston Library provides access to a great wealth of Special Collections which support research in many different fields. Our holdings range from early papyrus manuscript fragments to modern digital archives, as well as significant collections of rare books and printed ephemera, in languages from Aramaic to English to Urdu. Academics, students and independent researchers are all welcome.
Maps (cartographic materials)
The Bodleian Map Room holds an international collection of over 1 million maps, both current and historical. Follow the link above for information about finding aids to help you find and use maps and related materials in our collection.
The Bodleian Library’s Music collection is one of the largest and most important in the country. Follow the link above for information on how to locate music materials for consultation in the Weston Library. For a general overview of the history and scope of the Music collection, see the Weston's Music web site
Book Auction Catalogues
Over the centuries, the Bodleian Library has built up a collection of book auction catalogues which are of particular interest to those working on the history of books and collections. This guide helps you to navigate the collection.
Electronic Legal Deposit
Electronic Legal Deposit
Electronic legal deposit items are materials which Oxford has received under Legal Deposit legislation which entitles the Bodleian Libraries to a copy of every item published in the UK. Legal Deposit has historically only covered printed items. However, in 2003 new legislation was passed which extended legal deposit to electronic publications and it came into force in April 2013.
Images and films
Guidance on image databases and collections.
Visual Resources Centre (based in the Department of History of Art)
The Visual Resources Centre contains over 90,000 35mm slides of art and architecture from classical antiquity to the present day; a rare collection of over 65,000 glass lantern slides from the nineteenth and early twentieth century and a number of photographic collections.
Guidance on using the Bodleian Libraries collections of films.
Data and Statistics
Bodleian Data Library
The Bodleian Data Library provides advice and guidance on both finding data and statistics to support your research and managing your own research data.
Legal Materials and Official Papers (Parliamentary, Departmental and Intergovernmental Papers)
The Bodleian Law Library holds a wide range of legal materials from around the World including legislation, treaties, case law and legal texts.
Official Papers: Parliamentary, Departmental and International Intergovernmental papers
The Official Papers collection consists of: parliamentary papers and proceedings of the UK Parliament dating from the 16th century to present day; papers and proceedings of the devolved assemblies, Scottish Parliament and the Republic of Ireland; an excellent collection of departmental publications; principal collections of many international organisation, notably the Library has depository library status for the UN, ICAO and the ILO.
USA Government Publications
Guidance on US government publications held in Oxford (mostly in the Vere Harmsworth Library) and available online, both for current and historic information. Includes Legislative/Congressional Resources; Executive/Presidency Resources; Foreign Relations; Censuses/Statistics
Patents are a useful source of technical information. This guide introduces the main sources for finding patents.