Duke Humfrey’s Library: Lighting Project 21 August until end of September

Work to replace and upgrade the lighting in Duke Humfrey’s Library will begin on Monday 21 August and continue until the end of September.

During this period sections of the reading room will be closed off in turn to allow this work to be completed.

Access to Duke Humfrey’s Library may also be restricted to one staircase only at times. It may prove necessary to close the reading room for book moves at particular points in the project and notice will be given if this is the case with a fetching service provided.

There will be some noise associated with this project and readers may therefore prefer to work in other reading rooms.

For any queries about access to material please consult staff at the Main Enquiry Desk in the Lower Reading Room.

The good news is that, once completed, it should be easier to read the spine titles of local history society publications in the galleries.

List & Index Society publications now accessible in Duke Humfrey’s Library

LIS Society logoIf you are a British historian and a regular user of the important List & Index Society publications in the Bodleian Library, then you will be pleased to know that all 350+ volumes in the hitherto dispersed set of L&I Society volumes are now reunited on the LIS Society in DHopen-shelves in the Duke Humfrey’s Library under shelfmark LISoc[vol no.]

They include the Standard Series as well as the Special Series which are all shelved in volume order and can be found in close proximity to other local and regional English history sources (class R.Top).

The List & Index Society publications are an invaluable source for British historians, specialising in “publishing texts, editions and tabulations of historical manuscripts that are outside the range of the online catalogue, but judged to be unremunerative by academic and other presses.” http://www.listandindexsociety.org.uk/about.html

The publications are relevant to medievalists, early modernists as well as modernists:

LIS Society screenshot

Useful links:

Duke Humfrey’s Library – a glorious reading room for our readers

As the Weston Library is now open to library users, Special Collections operations have relocated from Duke Humfrey’s Library (DH) to the newly opened reading rooms in the Weston.

Historians will be delighted to know that Duke Humfrey’s Library reopened as a reader space on 13 October, overseen by the Bodleian Library Reader Services Department. This will offer more, quiet study space in the Old Bodleian Library to augment the seating currently available.

What are the opening hours?
Monday – Friday: 09.00-19.00
Saturday: 10.00-16.00
Who can use it?

Readers with all types of University/Library cards can use Duke Humfrey’s Library. Please show your card at the Security point if asked to do so.

> Regulations in the use of Duke Humfrey’s Library.

What collections will be in the Selden End?

Duke Humfrey’s Library will continue to function as an invigilated reading room supporting higher-level studies in the Humanities. Current open-shelf collections for English local history (R.Top) and medieval and church history sources (R.1-3) will all remain in the reading room. There are plans to add more collections, such as historical biography (e.g. Clergy List, Almanach de Gotha), historical resources (e.g. List & Index Society) and more. In view of the resource-intensive work and not wishing to disrupt our readers, moving additions into the room will not take place until Christmas Vacation.

Early printed material will remain in situ and be transferred for consultation in the Weston Library as required, along with other special collections materials.

Regulations regarding the use of Duke Humfrey’s Library:


  • Only small handbag-type bags can be brought into the reading room (approximate maximum size 25cm x 18cm). No other bags can be brought into DH (including laptop bags/cases).
  • Lockers are available on the way into the library and clear plastic bags are supplied for you to bring belongings into DH.
  • All bags should be offered to the Security Team Member for inspection on entry, and bags will be searched on exit.

You may not bring any food or drink into DH, even in sealed containers. This includes bottled water.

Pens can be used in DH. Power and data sockets are available for laptops.

You may not access the books in Arts End, or climb the stairs into the Arts End galleries. These items should be requested on SOLO for use in the Weston Library.

At the moment reader seating is available only in Selden End. You may not enter the bays off the main aisle of DH, or access the books on the shelves there. Items in the bay should be requested on SOLO for use in the Weston Library.

Please respect the photography regulations displayed. No photographs should be taken of Duke Humfrey’s Library itself.

Books can freely circulate: Material from the shelves in Selden End can be taken out of DH for use in other reading rooms and for photocopying. Staff at the Security point may ask to inspect such items as you leave DH.

Material from other reading rooms, including material ordered from storage, can be taken to Selden End to be read. Please return any material you have brought into DH to its point of origin when you leave. Staff at the Security point may ask to inspect such items as you leave DH. (It will be assumed any material from storage found in DH is finished with and this will be returned to the storage facility.)