Books moving back to the RSL

After being out of the building for over two years the books and staff of the Radcliffe Science Library (RSL) will be returning to our newly refurbished building for October 2023. Can you tell we’re excited?

Moving the books from the Vere Harmsworth Library (VHL) will take some time so we’re going to begin packing up our books in early September. From 4th September until the end of the month we will be packing and moving books from the VHL to the RSL.

Graphic of library shelves. Three of the shelves are nearly empty and there are cardboard boxes in front of the shelves.

Book fetching service

During that time the book you are looking for may not be on our shelves. To help with this we will be operatine a fetching service. You can ask the staff at the desk or email to get our staff to fetch a book from the boxes for you. As this is a time consuming process, it will be faster for readers to order books from Offste or get them from another library so we will not fetch books that meet those criteria.


During the book move there may be some noise disruption in the VHL particularly on the 2nd floor. We will try to keep the disturbance to a minimum.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

3D printing downtime

Unfortunatrly due to staff shortages and moving equipment back to the Radcliffe Science Library we’ll be unable to take orders for our 3D printing service after 31 July. Any orders paid for on or before 31 July will be printed though it may take a few days depending on how busy the service gets.

Orange construction sign which says "Temporarily closed for construction"We apologise for the inconvenience and we’ll have the service up and running again when we reopen the RSL. Our guide will still be avilable for information on 3D printing.

If you have any questions please let us know.

Height adjustable desks

The RSL collection and staff are in the VHL for another few months before we move back into the RSL after the refurbishment is finished. You can check out our blog for updates on how the refurbishment is going. Luckily the VHL has great facilities including Height Adjustable Desks.

Photograph of two height adjustable desks

There are two desks in the library, one with a chair and one without. Both are electronic and fully adjustable so they can be raised to standing desk height or lowered to suit someone in a wheelchair, or someone who needs to sit lower than the other desks.

Photograph of two height adjustable desksThere is no booking required, you can just come in and use them if they are free.

Disability Pride Month

In the United States, July is disability pride month and it is being acknowledged in more places. Bodleian Libraries offers a range of services to disabled readers.

Our webpage Services for disabled readers, details the services we can offer including:

  • Guide to physical accessibility in Bodleian Libraries
  • ARACU can provide alternative formats to printed materials
  • SensusAccess a fully automated service that converts your documents into alternative formats

Graphic with symbols indicating disability

All Bodleian Libraries have a local disability liaison, who can discuss access and specific arrangements for you at that library. Marija Babić is the liaison for the Radcliffe Science Library.

Reminders for graduating students

If you’re graduating this summer, here are a few library-related things to take care of before you leave Oxford. Many thanks for your attention to these.

  • Return all your library books to the library from which you originally borrowed them.
  • Pay any outstanding charges, such as payment for lost items
  • Use up and remaining PCAS credit

You can continue to use the Bodleian Libraries as a graduate of the University.

Oxford University alumni logo

Finally, RSL staff wish you every success in the future!

Group study rooms in the VHL

There are two small group study rooms on the first floor (maximum 4 people each), and one on the ground floor next to the library desk (maximum 5-6 people).

They can be booked by any University of Oxford card holder.

To request a booking email, phone +44 1865 272800, or speak to staff at the library desk.

Readers registered with the Bodleian Disability Services have priority for using the study rooms, so already confirmed bookings may need to be amended at short notice.

Exterior of Group Study Room 1

Group Study Room 1 – first floor

Group Study Room interior

First floor Group Study Room – inside

RSL in the VHL – Easter weekend closure 2023

The Radcliffe Science Library in the Vere Harmsworth Library will be closed over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend from Friday 7 April to Monday 10 April 2023 inclusive. The library will close at 7pm on Thursday 6 April and reopen at 9am on Tuesday 11 April.

Even though the library is closed, our online services will still be available:

Full details of library opening hours can be found at

White basket containing pale blue and mauve eggs with purple flowers and green foliage

Image by Silvia from Pixabay

3D Printing in Space

The 3D printing services at the RSL are out of this world and I’m not just saying that! Recently objects that we printed went up to the international space station. Let’s tell you how it happened.

Gif of an object wrapped in gold foil in a clear plastic bag  floating in the air. A hand reaches out and touches it and starts it spinning.

The 3D printing covers the ferrofluid experiemnt. It is wrapped in foil and plastic for protection.

The Project

The NG-18 robotic resupply spacecraft launched 7 November 2022, amongst its supplies it brought several experiments to the International Space Station (ISS) including an experiment investigating ferrofluids in microgravity. Ferrofluids are attracted to the poles of a magnet and the experiment’s aim was to investigate how the ferrofluids would act in in negligible gravity. This experiment was assisted by the ISSET-Oxford payload development team, who designed the structure for the experiment, the truss assembly, and the outer cover. This team specialises in developing high school student-proposed research projects for launch to the ISS. The experiment contained a series of electromagnets, which were used to manipulate a ferrofluid sample through a sensing coil.

The truss, electromagnet coil holders and outer casing were printed by the 3D printing facilities in the RSL. Our New and Emerging Technologies Officer, Richard Smith, discussed the designs with the ISSET-Oxford payload development team and arranged for them to be printed. The structures were printed using Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) which is NASA safety compliant.

They were then shipped to NASA Wallops Flight Facility for assembly and launch in November 2022. The assembly was designed in Solidworks and Onshape design software by Dr Daniel Cervenkov, Jack Enright and Dr Mike Foale.

On the ISS, the experiment ran successfully within the 3D printed structure and the results were saved to an SD card. That card returned to Earth on 11 January 2023 as part of the SpaceX CRS-26 Commercial Resupply Service mission along with the results of other experiments.

Find out more about 3D Printing on our guide or by emailing