Take the SSL home with you: ways to access library materials remotely

A view of a field with a house in the background. The words 'Take the SSL home with you' are above.

Our books (both normal and short loan) are currently being issued over the vacation. All are due back on Tuesday 10 October 2023 (1st Week of Michaelmas Term). However, if you have any books out on loan that you no longer need, please do return them to us before you leave for the vacation.

If you are an Oxford University student and need to access library resources while you are away from Oxford, follow our tips below:

Open laptop with an open book on it.Remote access via SOLO

Access e-books, e-journals and databases remotely by logging in to SOLO with your Single Sign On (SSO) Take a look at the Bodleian Libraries SOLO Guide for further information.

Image of the chat box for SOLO Live Chat


For help with finding and using items on SOLO, you can also get assistance via SOLO Live Chat.

This service is staffed from Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.

Look for the chat box to the right of the SOLO webpage.


Our eBook Subject & Research Guide has lots of information on how to access and use Oxford University eBooks.

Screen shot of how the SOLO catalogue displays eBooks. Under the title is a green circle with the words 'Online access' next to it.

ORLO (Oxford Reading Lists Online)

Most postgraduate reading lists are available on ORLO and scans, online articles and e-books can be accessed there.

Staff member scanning a book

Scan & Deliver

Scan & Deliver is a free electronic document delivery service which enables you to obtain scans of book chapters or journal articles via email from the Bodleian Libraries’ print collections.

Open laptop on a desk with the words Further Information on itFor more details on the above, and to find out about further resources available remotely, consult the Bodleian Libraries Online and Remote Access webpage.

Questions, need Help?

An image of a person holding an image of a speech bubble with a question mark inside.

Any questions, just get in touch with us!

Email: ssl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Telephone: 01865 271093

Summer Vacation Opening Hours

Our opening hours for the vacation are on our homepage.

A sign in a window which says 'Sorry we're closed' behind the sign is a lace curtain.

Note that we will be closed for the August Bank Holiday weekend from Saturday 25 to Monday 28th August (dates inclusive).


Why can’t the library provide everything electronically?

You can access over 1.4 million ebooks via SOLO. The Bodleian Libraries are working with publishers to provide lots of extra access to online resources during COVID-19. Over 5,000 new ebooks have been purchased and added to SOLO and a further 60,000 temporary e-books have been made freely available by publishers during this period.

If you can’t find an ebook and you need it for your research or teaching, we may be able to purchase it if it is available. However, not all books are available for libraries to buy as ebooks. Here’s a list of the reasons why:

In general, ebook versions are most commonly available for titles printed within the last decade or so. Digitised books scanned by institutions are usually much older to be safely out of copyright. This means that many 20th Century titles are not available as ebooks.

Sometimes publishers provide ebooks for individual private purchase only, because that is an effective pricing model. Amazon ebooks and many textbooks fall into this category. Libraries are unable to buy e-books that are supplied for individual private purchase only.

Sometimes ebooks are available for institutional purchase but have a single user access model, i.e. they can only be read by one person at a time. This would be unacceptably restrictive for titles on some student reading lists, for example, and may mean the library chooses not to purchase the ebook and instead scales up print provision.

Sometimes ebooks are available for purchase, but with additional restrictions to named users or cohorts. The University’s policy is that, wherever possible, access to e-resources should be available to all current University members

Sometimes ebooks are available for institutional purchase, but not licensed for sale in the UK.

Sometimes ebooks are available for institutional purchase but are too expensive. We will always try to find a solution, negotiating with publishers and suppliers and sharing the cost across multiple budgets. It may still be too expensive to buy. Note that the costs quoted for ebooks on publisher websites are usually for individual private purchase models. Institutional purchase models, when available, are usually much more expensive. For example a Kindle book that costs you £26 could cost us 7 times as much or one ebook that only 3 people can access would cost us over £650.

Sometimes ebooks are available for institutional access via a subscription to a package deal or database only. Due to the size and cost of these packages, it is not always cost-effective to purchase a whole package if very few titles within it are required.

To find out more about ebooks, consult the Bodleian Libraries ebook LibGuide.


New: Access 300,000 eBooks via Perlego

We are pleased to announce that we now have access to 300,000 book titles across a broad range of subjects via Perlego, until 17 July 2020. This includes all of Wiley and Pearson.

You may browse by subject, topic, curated reading list or publisher, or search. A new advanced search filter is also now available.

Users can browse the full collection to identify titles of interest without creating an account at Perlego.

However, to access the full-text, users need to create their own Perlego account. To set this up, Go to Databases A-Z and find Perlego.

Then, click on the link to WebLearn to find the access code and the link to the platform. A registration form will be generated. Use your ox.ac.uk email address and the access code to set up your account. Once this is done, in future, you can go directly to the Perlego website and login in with your email address.

Searching Perlego

Use the simple search, and then filter to search for books only matching on the title, author, the topic, or the keyword. Or use the format filter and choose to read in e-Pub or PDF.

For more information on Perlego, take a look at this YouTube tutorial.

If you would like to give us some feedback, please contact your Subject Librarian.


Access over 1.4 million eBooks via SOLO

While our Libraries may be closed, the Bodleian Libraries have been working hard to ‘Keep the University reading.’ With a Single Sign On you can access over 1.4 million e-books via SOLO.

Filter results by ‘Online Resources’ and to find e-books that can be accessed offsite, look for the green Online access icon.


As well as our existing titles, the Bodleian Libraries have been working with publishers to provide a lot of extra access to online resources during this period. Over 5,000 new e-books have been purchased and added to SOLO together with a further 60,000 temporary e-books made freely available by publishers during COVID-19. In addition, for some e-book collections, the licenses of content have been temporarily extended to increase or remove the limit on the number of simultaneous users.

You can keep up-to-date with the latest additional e-books via the e-books LibGuide.



Projects SSL staff have been working on over the Easter Vacation

Although the SSL was closed over the Easter vacation, our staff have been hard at work providing means for students to continue studying effectively from home.

We have been busy creating online reading lists, with links to journal articles and eBooks, to be published on ORLO. We have 13 lists currently in progress, with 2,400 citations added so far. More news to follow when they are officially available.

We have also been working through “eBook wishlists” sent to us by course convenors, from which we have so far purchased 161 eBooks which are licensed for institutional access [more info on what libraries can/can’t buy can be found here]. The work to purchase these eBooks will continue through out Trinity Term.

Want to recommend an eBook for purchase?

If you urgently require a book that is only available in hardcopy or electronically via eLegal Deposit complete a Book Recommendation Form. Staff will investigate if it is possible for us to buy an eBook which will be accessible remotely if you have a SSO.

If you have any questions, please contact us via email here.