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 www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/finding-resources/library-updates.

New services – Browse and Borrow + Spacefinder

Browse and Borrow

From Tuesday 27 October 2020, the Browse and Borrow (B&B) service is available at the Vere Harmsworth Library. Browse and Borrow allows readers to book a slot to browse the open shelves and borrow material for consultation outside the library.

Browse and Borrow sessions are available as follows in term-time:
Monday to Friday:

  • Mornings: 10.00am-12.30pm
  • Afternoons: 2.00pm-4.30pm
  • Evenings: 6.00pm-8.30pm


  • 10.30am-12.00pm
  • 1.30pm-3.30pm


  • 11.30am-1.00pm
  • 2.30pm-4.30pm

Browse and Borrow bookings at the VHL are limited to 15 readers per session.

If you need to consult material in depth in the library, please book a desk or PC instead.


Demand for spaces in libraries is very high and slots become fully booked very quickly.

To assist readers in finding and booking available spaces, a new Spacefinder tool has been launched.

New slots are released 7 days in advance between 7:30-9:30 each morning, and additional slots are released each day due to cancellations and same day booking can be made before 8am.

How to contact us for help

Radcliffe Science Library staff can be contacted any time for help using library services:

+44 1865 272800 enquiries.rsl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

You can also contact your Subject Librarian directly.

For help with SOLO, you can use the Live Chat service from the SOLO home screen. Live Chat is staffed by library staff from across the Bodleian Libraries, and is available 9am-7pm Monday to Friday and 10am-7pm at weekends.

Socially-distanced library services in Michaelmas term 2020

Using library spaces

At the moment, you will need to book a space in advance to visit one of the Bodleian Libraries – see www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/reading-rooms for details.

Bookings can be made up to a week in advance and will close at 8am the day of your chosen time slot.

Check library opening times before booking – www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/opening-hours.


Usual borrowing procedures are suspended across the Bodleian Libraries due to restrictions on access to library sites. Borrowing is possible via the Click and Collect service – see www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/clickandcollect for details. Borrowers are able to place requests on SOLO for loanable items, which are then fetched by staff and can be collected in a pre-arranged time slot.

Getting scans of chapters and articles

Readers can request scans of journal articles and book chapters on SOLO via Scan and Deliver – details are at www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/scan-and-deliver. There are two services on offer:

  • OffsiteScan from items in off-site storage is available to all Bodleian Libraries readers
  • LibraryScan from items in reading rooms is available to current members of the University with a SSO (there is a limit of one request per reader per day)

These services are free of charge.

Welcome to all new and returning students!

A warm welcome from the Bodleian’s Science and Medicine team!

The RSL is Oxford’s main library for science subjects and pre-clinical medicine, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

The RSL’s usual home is currently closed for refurbishment until late 2021. Bodleian Libraries science library services are currently operating from a temporary base in the Vere Harmsworth Library in the Rothermere American Institute.

Due to the pandemic, the library is currently open only to readers who have booked in advance – this must be done online at  www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/reading-rooms.

Books can be borrowed from the RSL via the Click and Collect service.

Scans of articles and book chapters are available via Scan and Deliver.

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

You can also contact me directly via email at donald.mackay@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Donald M Mackay, Head of MSD & MPLS Libraries

Vere Harmsworth Library and Radcliffe Science Library @ VHL reopen on Monday 28 September

The Vere Harmsworth Library, the temporary home of the Radcliffe Science Library, will reopen to readers on Monday 28 September.

Opening hours:

  • From Monday 28 September: 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday only
  • From Sunday 11 October:
    • 9.30am to 9pm Monday to Friday
    • 10am to 4pm Saturday
    • 11am to 5pm Sunday

Admission is by advance booking only and this must be done online – book at www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/reading-rooms.

There are 40 seats available for booking and 4 library PCs. Readers are required to wear masks and use hand sanitiser – full details of safety precautions will be included in your booking confirmation email.

Deliveries of materials held offsite will recommence on Wednesday 7 October, with ordering via SOLO enabled the day before. Please note – if you order items which can only be used in the library, you will need to book a space to consult it as well.

You can also use the Click and Collect service via SOLO to borrow VHL and RSL books. Details of this service are at www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/clickandcollect. Items can be collected at a pre-arranged time between 12pm and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

If you have any issues accessing the library, please contact vhl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

These arrangements are subject to change at short notice. Any updates will be posted on the RSL website and Twitter feed.