New Bodley’s Librarian appointed

We have got a new leader!

The University of Oxford is pleased to announce that Richard Ovenden has been appointed as Bodley’s Librarian, succeeding Dr Sarah Thomas. He will be a Fellow of Balliol College.

He will assume his new role immediately. As executive head of the Bodleian Libraries, he will take on the stewardship of combined collections numbering more than 11 million printed items, in addition to 50,000 e-journals and a vast quantity of other materials.

> Read more about Richard Ovenden and the full press release.

Humanities Journals to be re-sequenced into a single run in week 6 and 13 January

History journalsOver the course of this week and next, the Humanities Periodicals section in the Lower  Gladstone Link, covering the journals sequences for PER HIST (History), PER ENG (English) and so on, will be re-sequenced into a single interdisciplinary section.

They will remain in the same area of the Lower Gladstone Link and will shelved alphabetically by title.

When searching SOLO, journals shelved in the Lower Gladstone Link will have the shelfmark PER HUMS.

Handlists will be available in situ to help you.

Oxford has of course excellent ejournal collections so check SOLO or OU eJournals to find these online. Here is a guide to using OU eJournals. If you need help in how to browse ejournals and set up alerts, then just contact library staff.

Humanities Journals re-sequencing into a single section in week 16 December

Over the course of 9th and 10th week the Humanities Periodicals section in the Lower  Gladstone Link (covering History, English, Theology and Patristics, Philosophy and Classics) will be resequenced into a single interdisciplinary section.  It will remain in the same section of the Lower Gladstone Link, alphabetically by title.

Handlists will be available in situ to aid finding.

Oxford has excellent ejournal collections so check SOLO or OU eJournals to find these online. Here is a guide to using OU eJournals. If you need help in how to browse by issue, set up alerts, then just contact library staff.


Oxford World War I Centenary Programme

[Re-blogged from Oxford World War I Centenary Programme.]

As part of the commemoration of World War I, a number of events in Oxford are scheduled for Hilary Term 2014:

The Great War and Global History conference, Oxford 9-10 January 2014

A conference in collaboration with the Centre for Global History and the Maison Française.

Plenary speakers include: Patrick O’Brien, Georges-Henri Soutou, Hans van de Ven, Hervé Drévillon, Tamara Scheer, Jos Gommans, Douglas Porch, Margaret MacMillan, Tonio Andrade, Martin Ceadel, Karen Hagemann, Sudhir Hazareesingh, Naoko Shimazu, Dominic Lieven, Hew Strachan, James Belich.

First World War Anniversary Lectures at Christ Church

With a view to encouraging and informing reflection, the McDonald Centre in association with Christ Church Cathedral will stage the following series of public lectures during Hilary Term.

The Great War: Personal stories from Downing Street to the Trenches, 1914-1916
A Bodleian Exhibition 12 June to 2 November 2014

Week 16 December: Christmas opening hours, restricted access in RadCam & tearoom changes hours

roadsignWeek 16 December – temporary closure of Radcliffe Camera Toilets & Removal of Platform:

The toilets in the Radcliffe Camera will be closed from Monday 16 December to Thursday 19 December inclusive whilst the porter’s desk and platform are removed from the staircase area. Access to the Upper Camera will still be possible.

Bodleian Library & RadCam Christmas opening: 


  • Normal hours until closing time of Fri 20 Dec.except the RadCam which closes at 5pm.
  • Sat. 21 Dec 10-4pm: LRR and URR will be OPEN. Duke Humfrey’s, Radcliffe Camera and GL will be CLOSED.
  • Sunday: All CLOSED.
  • Monday 23 Dec 9am-5pm. LRR will be OPEN. URR, Duke Humfrey’s, Radcliffe Camera and GL will be CLOSED.

Bodleian Library tea room – change in hours: 

Due to low weekend demand during term time, the Bodleian Library tea room will unfortunately no longer open on Saturdays outside of the Long Vacation. We will still be open and welcoming readers as usual on weekdays. This change will take effect in the New Year, so the last day of Saturday opening will be 21 December.

Ancient texts published online by the Bodleian and the Vatican Libraries

Re-blogged from the Bodleian Libraries’ website, here is some great news for scholars:

The Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (BAV) have digitized and made available online some of the world’s most unique and important Bibles and biblical texts from their collections, as the start of a major digitization initiative undertaken by the two institutions.

The digitized texts can be accessed on a dedicated website which has been launched today ( This is the first launch of digitized content in a major four-year collaborative project.

Portions of the Bodleian and Vatican Libraries’ collections of Hebrew manuscripts, Greek manuscripts, and early printed books have been selected for digitization by a team of scholars and curators from around the world.

More on this

Old Bodleian Library – update of building works 30 July 2013

Works in Upper Reading Room (URR): The History (north) side of URR should reopen to readers on Friday 2 August. The new carpet is looking good and already deadening sound which is nice!

Work on the (English) south side of URR will start on Monday 5 August. The seating on the south side of URR will close to readers from this date. URR should reopen completely to readers on Monday 23 September.

Works in Lower Reading Room (LRR):

The new light fittings will be installed in the north (Classics) range between Thursday 21 and Friday 30 August, entailing closures of particular seating areas for one or two days during this period.

The preparatory lighting work on the south (Philosophy / Theology) side of LRR will take place between Monday 5 and Wednesday 14 August. The light fittings will then be installed between Monday 16 September and Tuesday 24 September. Both periods will see brief closures of particular seating areas for one or two days.

Work to remove the old Lower Reserve counter will take place in week 29 July, though further work in this area may be needed. There will be no general route through the old Lower Reserve area on this date, though an evacuation route will be available in an emergency.

Benefactors Board:

Work will also be carried out on the Benefactors Board between Monday 19 August and Friday 30 August. During this period, the south stairs will be closed above Lower Reading Room. Access to Duke Humfrey’s Library and the Upper Reading Room will be via the north stairs only. Both staircases will be fully available in an emergency.

We apologise for the ongoing disruption this work to improve the library environment will cause.

Old Bodleian Library: Lower Reading Room reserve now close – start of Self-Collect 5 August

The staff-mediated reserve in the Lower Reading Room has now closed. If you wish to order material from the Book Storage Facility to the Old Bodleian Library, you should select the Upper Reading Room, or for Special Collections material, Duke Humfrey’s Library as delivery locations.

Pending completion of works, from Monday 5 August we aim to introduce a new Self-Collect point in the Lower Reading Room Reference Room (room containing the Main Enquiry Desk) enabling you to collect items you have ordered from closed access without waiting for staff intervention.

Collect your own stack requests in Old Library – starts in August

Finger from Statue de Rollon (Rouen) by zigazou76 on Flickr

Finger from Statue de Rollon (Rouen)
by zigazou76 on Flickr

The Bodleian Library will introduce Self-Collect in the Lower Reading Room (LRR) in early August.

This is great news for those wishing to pick up your stack requests yourself.

To make this possible, the current staff-mediated reserve in LRR will close. The new Self-Collect pick-up location will be in the Reference Room, near the Main Enquiry Desk. The old reserve area will be turned into open access shelving and more desks will be added.

Timetable of changes:

  • Until 5pm on Fri. 12 July you will be able to order your books to LRR as normal.
  • You can consult those items requested in LRR until 4pm on Sat. 20 July
  • If you wish to consult those items after Sat 20 July, make sure you ask staff by 2pm on Friday 19 July for these to be transferred e.g. to Upper Reading Room (URR).
  • Otherwise, all items still in Lower Reserve on the morning of Monday 22 July will be returned to storage.
  • Between 22 July and 5 August, all non-Special Collections bookservice to the Old Library will be to URR. You can of course taken to the LRR to use if you prefer.
  • 5 August: Self-Collect service is expected to come into operation in LRR.

Please ask staff if you need any assistance with requesting material, especially while bookservice to LRR is suspended.  Thank you for your patience while we introduce this new service. Once it is up and running, we hope that you will enjoy it!

Related links

Ghosts in the Machine: (Re)Constructing the Bodleian’s Index of Literary Correspondence, 1927-1963

[Selectively re-blogged from the Cultures of Knowledge blog, with permission from the authors.]

Early Modern Letters Online – or EMLO for short – is a growing union catalogue of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century correspondence. The project is based at the Faculty of History, Oxford. At the heart of EMLO is the The ‘Index of Literary Correspondence’.

The ‘Index of Literary Correspondence’ in the Bodleian Library is a card catalogue which occupies an imposing set of wooden filing drawers at the ‘Selden End’ of the Duke Humfrey’s Library.

It is a remarkable free-standing resource, describing a significant percentage of Bodleian’s rich holdings of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century correspondence, and had been accessible until recently only to those working on-site. Now you can read in Ghosts in the Machine: (Re)Constructing the Bodleian’s Index of Literary Correspondence, 1927-1963 about the history of its creation. The blog post documents a wonderful piece of Bodleian Library history and profiles the staff involved at the time.

As part of the EMLO project The Index of Literary Correspondence has been scanned and digitised, and now its 48,691 unique records can be searched and browsed online within EMLO, radically improving the discoverability and manipulability of the cards and the letters to which they refer.

Do you know something about the Index of Literary Correspondence? Get in touch with EMLO researchers. Email: