SOLO update: stack requests from Bodleian to VHL also not working

In addition to SOLO not currently allowing stack requests for books from the VHL stack, we’ve also discovered that stack requests are not always working to request books from the Bodleian stacks to the VHL.  The problem here is that the VHL is not listed as one of the possible pick-up locations, and unfortunately this means that we can’t override this for you from the staff side.  I have reported this and we hope it’ll be fixed soon, but in the meantime I’m afraid you will need to go to another library or reading room to consult Bodleian material.

This problem doesn’t seem to be affecting oversize books, which continue to only be available to be requested to the VHL.

There is also a separate problem where some readers are not able to place any stack requests at all, despite always having been able to do so.  This is also being investigated, and the good news is that staff can override this block so please ask us to place stack requests for you if you find you are not currently able to do so yourself.

If you do come across this, or any other problems with stack requests to the VHL, please do let me know.

SOLO update: renewals now working

The bug which has been preventing readers from renewing their books online via SOLO has now been fixed. If you see the ‘renew failed’ message from now on, it means that there’s a genuine, library-specific reason why you can’t renew, eg, limits on number of renewals, restrictions on renewing overdue books.

Fixes are still being worked on for the various other bugs, and we’ll update as and when things get sorted out. Don’t forget, if you are experiencing problems with SOLO, please report them either to us or use the feedback link on SOLO itself.  If you need guidance on how to do things in SOLO, again feel free to ask us or take a look at the online guide.

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses: full text now available (Humanities & Social Sciences)

Some particularly good news for readers wanting to access American theses, which have always been very difficult to get hold of here. Oxford now has access to the full text collection of ProQuest Dissertations & Theses for Humanities and Social Sciences. Full text is available for North American theses published since 1997, and for a lot of older works too. 

To access full text theses, make sure you select “ProQuest Dissertations & Theses: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection (full-text)” from the available options listed on OxLIP+.  If you choose just ‘Dissertations & Theses’ you will be taken to the interface we previously had available which allows you to search but not access the full text.

New History electronic resources available

Several major new electronic resources have been purchased for History this week, several of which may be of interest to Americanists.

The new resources include:

  • State Papers Online II: The Tudors, 1509-1603 (Foreign)
  • Periodicals Archive Online 7 (includes The Spectator, 1828-2000)
  • The Financial Times Historical Archive, 1888-2006
  • FBIS Western Europe, 1974-1996
  • Perdita Manuscripts: Women Writers, 1500-1700
  • Latin American Newspapers, 1805-1922

For more information, please see the History Faculty Library’s blog. All are accessible via OxLIP+ (use single sign-on for remote access).

Stack requests for VHL stack books not working and other new SOLO bugs

It’s come to our attention that stack requests aren’t working on the new system for books kept in the VHL stack.  I’ve reported it and it is being investigated, but in the meantime the only way to call up our stack books is the old-fashioned manual way.  If you would like to see a book kept in our stack, then please come into the library or give us a ring/send us an email to give us the details so that we can go down and fetch it for you.

I’m afraid this does mean that we are not able to send VHL stack books elsewhere in the Bodleian Libraries for consultation until the problem is fixed, so if you do want a book from our stack you will need to come into the VHL to read it.

It also looks as if VHL stack books are not displaying their location on SOLO (which may be the reason the requests aren’t working!).  As a general rule, anything published pre-1920 will be in the stack, but do ask if you’re not sure – we can see the location on the staff side.

There are various other bugs currently causing problems on SOLO as well – summary as follows:

  • Renewals: It’s currently not possible to renew your loans or your stack requests via SOLO. Staff can do so on your behalf, so please ask the relevant library.  Fines are generally being waived across the system while everything settles down, and no stack requests are going back to the stacks until at least Monday 1st August.
  • Stack requests for multiple volumes of the same work (books and journals): If you try to request more than one volume of a work, you will get a message saying you already have a request and won’t be able to request subsequent volumes. Again staff can get round this, so please ask us to place the requests on your behalf.
  • e-shelf: e-shelf data has still not been migrated. Don’t worry, your saved records have not been lost, it’s just taking them longer than we thought to transfer the data.
  • Visibility of stack books already called up to reading rooms: SOLO is not displaying properly when stack books are already out from the stack, which means it’s hard to know when you place a request either whether it’s available or not, or if it’s already in a reading room, where it is so that you can go and consult it there.
  • Estimated delivery times: SOLO does not tell you when you place a request when to expect it at the reading room. The idea was that you would be emailed when your books arrived, but this is not working properly yet either. You can always check the status of your request by logging in to SOLO and looking at your account.  As a general rule, books take 24-48 hours to arrive in the reading room from the stack.

All of these are known about by our systems people and by the software developers, who are working to fix the bugs as soon as possible. If you are having problems with any aspect of SOLO and the new system, please do report it either to library staff or via the feedback link on SOLO (top right, next to ‘help’).

SOLO: new & improved and now live!

The new, improved version of SOLO has just gone live!  You will now be able to make stack requests, check your loans record and renew books all within SOLO.

How do I…?
The SOLO online guide includes instructions on how to do all of these things, as well as guidance on how best to search.  The Libraries are also running several training sessions to help readers learn their way around SOLO – details available at:

Logging on to SOLO
If you are a University member, you will need to log on to SOLO using your Oxford single sign-on account. Remember to log off when you are finished so that no-one else can access your record!  You will still need your library card barcode and password for logging on to PCs in libraries or accessing the Bodleian Libraries wireless network.

If you are not a member of Oxford University, but have a Bodleian Libraries’ readers card, you will log on to SOLO using your library card barcode and password.

If you can’t remember the password that goes with your library card barcode, you can reset it online yourself at:

Resetting library passwords

It is now possible to reset your own library password, to use to log on to library PCs, the Bodleian Libraries wireless service, and (for non-Oxford University members from tomorrow onwards), SOLO to place stack requests and check your record etc. You can do this via an online form at There is an online guide available to walk you through the process at:, but staff will still be able to reset passwords for you if you have problems with this method.

SOLO downtime this afternoon

As part of the final preparation for the new system coming in tomorrow, SOLO will need to be taken down at 3pm this afternoon until 9am tomorrow morning. If you need to find material while SOLO is out of action, please check COPAC, or ask staff for help. Alternatively, a good tip for the VHL if ever SOLO is down is to search the Library of Congress’s catalogue. It won’t tell you whether we have a book here but the shelfmark would be the same if we do, so it will at least point you in the right direction on our shelves!

Stack requests after ‘go-live’

An update on what will happen to stack requests once the new library system comes in:

Stack requests already called up to libraries
These will remain on reserve in the reading rooms until Monday 1st August. This should give you time to renew your stack books on SOLO to keep for longer if you so require, otherwise any books you currently have called up will be returned to the stack from that date.

New stack requests
Assuming all goes well with the last few bits of the implementation over the next couple of days, you should be able to start ordering books from the stacks again from 9am on Friday 22nd July.  Stack requests, like all other library functions, will now be placed via SOLO. See the SOLO online guide for information on how to do this.

Need help with SOLO? Training and guide available

If you’re having difficulty with SOLO, or would like some extra help or guidance, the Bodleian Libraries are running extra ‘Finding Stuff on SOLO’ workshops this summer, as follows:

WISER:  Finding Stuff on SOLO
This hands on workshop will focus on search techniques for finding books, journals and other Library materials in print and online using SOLO. The session will also cover placing requests and reservations using SOLO, book renewals and using the SOLO e-shelf and saved searches.

Dates:   This workshop will run on the following dates (you only need to attend one session). 

  • Wednesday 27 July 9.30-10.30 at the Radcliffe Science Library
  • Tuesday 9 August 14.30-15.30  at the Social Science Library
  • Wednesday 24 August 10.00-11.00  at the Radcliffe Science Library

More dates will be added over the summer, please check for more details.

Don’t forget you can always get help from the SOLO online guide, or ask staff in any library to give you a hand.