Bodleian Libraries’ Reader Survey 2022

The Bodleian Libraries is undertaking a readership-wide survey in order to understand readers’ perceptions and expectations of our collections and services, and to inform future planning.

The survey is not just aimed at those who have visited any of our physical library spaces. It’s aimed at all readers (members of the University, external researchers and alumni), including those who have only used our online collections and services e.g.

  • using e-journals or e-books
  • using online reading lists
  • obtaining scans of printed items via the Scan & Deliver service
  • taking an online information skills workshop
  • interactions with Bodleian Libraries staff via email or SOLO Live Chat

The survey, which takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and is open until 19 February, is available at:

Further information is available at:

All responses are confidential.

Thousands of new ebooks across science and medicine

We aim to build collections that reflect a diverse academic community and breadth of scholarship, and to support the University’s flexible and inclusive approach to teaching. To this end, we aim to continue to fill gaps in our current online collections, meet student expectations for 24/7 remote access to key materials, and address previously under-represented areas and revisions to the academic curricula.

Since March 2020, there have been considerable increases in ebook provision for both taught students and researchers across MSD and MPLS. Additional funds were made available to us during the COVID-19 pandemic, which were used to provide enhanced access to ebooks as well as expand ejournal access.

This expansion of ebook access included:

  • large collections from major publishers aimed at students and researchers across science and biomedicine
  • one-off purchases of individual texts available in perpetuity
  • some individual titles which require annual subscriptions

These include key individual ebook titles on undergraduate reading lists or individually requested, and also major reference works such as Encyclopaedia of the Life Sciences and Birds of the World. We have also acquired access to over 60,000 additional online monographs from the Springer and Elsevier ebook platforms.

There has also been a substantial increase in uptake of ORLO (Oxford Reading Lists Online) in MSD and MPLS, and staff have made great efforts to identify material newly available online, and online alternatives to reading list texts only available in print.

Very high usage levels are being reported for some these new titles and collections. For example, there were 8,000 chapter downloads from Berg’s Biochemistry online in just 6 months, and the big increases in downloads from our Elsevier and Springer ebook collections can be seen in these graphs:

Springer ebook usage from February 2021

Elsevier ebook usage from March 2021

New publisher ebook collection subscriptions in science and medicine:

MSD ebooks now available:

  • 265 key individual ebook titles in direct support of undergraduate reading lists – titles catalogued individually on SOLO


MPLS ebooks now available:

  • 450 key individual ebook titles in direct support of undergraduate reading lists – titles catalogued individually on SOLO


New databases and reference works:

Springer ebook collections purchased in perpetuity:

  • Earth and Environmental Science (2017 and 2020-21)* – titles catalogued individually on SOLO
  • Mathematics and Statistics (2017-21) – titles catalogued individually on SOLO
  • Chemistry and Materials Science (2017-21) – titles catalogued individually on SOLO
  • Springer Medicine (2017-2021) – titles catalogued individually on SOLO


All these resources are accessible via SOLO when logged in using your SSO. Direct links to publishers’ platforms should also work when logged into Bodleian Libraries and Departmental computers, or when using the University VPN.

*2018 and 2019 already purchased

Melancholy: A New Anatomy exhibition and Library Lates event

The Weston Library’s current exhibition Melancholy: A New Anatomy celebrates the 400th anniversary of Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy. First published in 1621 the text is an innovative encyclopaedia of mental and emotional disorder, as understood in the late Renaissance. 400 years later we are still exploring the different ways to treat mental health.

As part of our Library Lates series, come and join us for an interactive exploration of mind and matter, inspired by the exhibition. Explore our common experiences and connections over time through a variety of activities designed to uplift the mood and invigorate the mind.
Get creative with origami for wellbeing and myriorama making. Try laughter yoga to boost your mood or test your knowledge with brain jenga. Borrow Oxford researchers for a chat in the Living Library and enter the world of sleep. Wake up with music for the brain and print a Burton keepsake to remember his instruction ‘Be not solitary, be not idle’.

Library Lates: Melancholy – Mind & Matter

Friday 12 November 2021, 7pm until 9.30pm

Details and booking information

Welcome to all new and returning students in Michaelmas 2021

A warm welcome from the Radcliffe Science Library to all new and returning students! We look forward to seeing you soon.

The RSL is one of the Bodleian Libraries and is Oxford’s main library for science subjects and pre-clinical medicine.

The RSL’s usual home is currently closed for refurbishment until 2023. The RSL’s library services are currently operating from a temporary base in the Vere Harmsworth Library in the Rothermere American Institute.

Please see the Bodleian Libraries website for information on service updates and staying safe in the libraries.

Please don’t hesitate to ask library staff for help. Here are a few pointers to get you started:

  • e-Reference services:  Our Live Chat service is available via the SOLO home page and the Bodleian Libraries website seven days a week, (9am–7pm on weekdays and 10am–4pm on weekends) and our central email enquiry service is

While you’re away + Study Skills titles and EDI collection

The Bodleian Libraries have an extensive range of online resources to enable you to continue your studies away from Oxford.


Filter results on SOLO by Online Resources to find resources that can be accessed remotely – look for the green Online access icon. University members can access these anywhere in the world when logged into SOLO with a Single Sign-On (SSO) ID.


The Bodleian Libraries have a large number of e-books which can be accessed via SOLO. We also have a guide to accessing and using e-books.

If you can’t find a book available as an e-book, then we may be able to purchase one. Complete the book recommendation form to put in your request.

Reading lists

Oxford Reading Lists Online (ORLO) provides 24/7 access to reading lists from a range of devices via your Oxford Single Sign-On ID (More information on ORLO).



All of Oxford’s databases are accessible via SOLO (filter by Databases under Resource Type) and also via Databases A-Z.

Free resources

  • Filter by Open Access at the top of the left hand column of search results in SOLO
  • LibGuides list key subject-specific resources accessible online

Study Skills Reading list

We have compiled a curated selection of study skills books in one list. The list contains titles suitable for undergraduates and graduates, from general to specific, and by subject. You can go browse the list by scrolling the page or by using the Table of Contents tab, to jump to a category. The list will be reviewed and updated regularly with new recommended titles.

Equality Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) Collection

The library is committed to expanding its EDI collection in areas such as LGBT+ Studies, Women’s Studies, Disability Studies, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BME) Studies.

Here is a selection of titles:

More are available on SOLO.

Do you want the e-book of a title already on SOLO in print?  Do you have a recommendation for a title not already included? Contact

3D printing service relaunched

The Radcliffe Science Library’s 3D printing service has resumed.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss using the service, feel free to contact Richard Smith at

Further information, including how to submit an order, can be found on the online guide:

New online resources for MPLS

Physical sciences

Life and environmental sciences

CABI titles

Welcome back to all students returning in Trinity term 2021

Welcome back to all students returning to Oxford for Trinity term! We are here to help you to continue your studies safely, and we would like to remind you of the services we offer while staying in line with government and University guidelines. For up-to-date information on services from the Bodleian Libraries as a whole, please see

Opening hours

The Vere Harmsworth Library, including the Radcliffe Science Library, will have the following opening hours for Trinity term (from Saturday 24 April):

  • Monday-Friday: 9.30am – 9pm
  • Saturday: 10am – 4pm
  • Sunday: 11am – 5pm

Booking is still required until further notice. Your booking confirmation email will give you full information on the procedures you will need to follow when visiting the library.


Loans are now due back on 1 June 2021. Information on returning books can be found at

Browse and Borrow

Browse and Borrow sessions are now bookable again at the VHL. The timings of these sessions are:

  • Monday to Friday – 11.30am-12.30pm; 3.30-4.30pm; 7.30-8.30pm
  • Saturday – 11am-12pm; 2.30-3.30pm
  • Sunday – 12-1pm; 3.30-4.30pm

A maximum of 5 readers per session are allowed. Booking a Browse and Borrow session allows you to access the shelves, but not to use a desk

Click and Collect

The Click and Collect service is available for loanable items from the VHL and RSL. Books are reserved via SOLO. You will need to book a 30 minute slot to collect reserved items – these are available as follows:

  • Monday to Friday – 12-4pm
  • Saturday – 11am-3pm
  • Sunday – 12-4pm

A maximum of 6 readers per 30 minutes slot is allowed.

Scan and Deliver

Scans of RSL and VHL items are available to via the Scan and Deliver service. Request scans via SOLO.

Update on library services at the RSL and VHL for Trinity term 2021

Opening hours

Easter vacation (from Tuesday 6 April to Friday 23 April):

  • Monday-Friday: 9.30am – 7pm
  • Saturday: 10am – 2pm
  • Sunday: Closed

Trinity term (from Saturday 24 April):

  • Monday-Friday: 9.30am – 9pm
  • Saturday: 10am – 4pm
  • Sunday: 11am – 5pm

Booking is still required until further notice – please see for more information.

The loan return period has been extended until 29 April 2021 and fines are suspended. Information on returning books can be found at

Scans of RSL and VHL items are available to via the Scan and Deliver service, and the Click and Collect service is available for loanable items. Both services are available via SOLO.

For up-to-date information on services from the Bodleian Libraries, please see


From Monday 12 April, Browse and Borrow sessions are available again at the VHL. The timings of these sessions are:


  • Mornings: 10am-12.00noon
  • Afternoons: 1.30-3.30pm
  • Evenings: 5-6.30pm

Saturday: 10.30am-1.30pm

Update on library services from the Radcliffe Science Library and the Vere Harmsworth Library – Hilary term 2021

From Saturday 16 January, the Radcliffe Science Library and Vere Harmsworth Libraries will be CLOSED to readers apart from those using the Click and Collect service (available Monday to Friday, 12-4pm by advance booking only). This will apply until further notice.

Readers using the Click and Collect service will be able to return books as well.

Scans of RSL and VHL open shelf items will still be available to University members via the Scan and Deliver service.

It is not possible to order items to the VHL from offsite storage, but scans of articles and chapters are available through the Scan and Deliver Offsite Scan service. This is available to all Bodleian Libraries readers.

Emergency online access to many of our holdings via HathiTrust has been reinstated on SOLO.

Updated on changes to Bodleian Libraries services will be posted at