Bodleian Library: restricted access to the Gladstone Link

During the period Monday 16 July – Friday 27 July and Monday 6 August – Friday 17 August inclusive, access to the Gladstone Link will only be possible via the Old Bodleian Library.

There will no access to the Gladstone Link from the Radcliffe Camera and likewise no access to the Radcliffe Camera from the Gladstone Link. However, this route remains available for use in the event of an emergency evacuation.

The restricted access is to enable the move out of less-used new academic material to the Book Storage Facility and the move in of History Faculty Library material following the closure of that Library at 5.30pm on Friday 3 August.

Areas of the Gladstone Link will be cordoned off as the book moves take place and material on the shelves in these areas will be inaccessible to readers until the cordons have been removed. If you need assistance please speak to staff either in the GL or at the Main Enquiry Desk in the Lower Reading Room.

HFL move update

Further information regarding the move of the HFL is now available on the HFL blog. We now know that as part of the transfer to the Radcliffe Camera, HFL operations and services in the Old Indian Institute building will cease from  17:30 on Friday 3 August.  Collections will move to the Radcliffe Camera and Gladstone Link between 6 and 17 August; HFL staff will move soon after that.

For more information and to receive updates as the HFL move progresses, please see the HFL blog:

HFL move update

An update to plans for the move of the History Faculty Library to the Radcliffe Camera and Gladstone Link this summer has been published on the Bodleian website. Details are still being fixed but at the moment the timeline is expected to be as follows:

  • HFL vacation loans (with an increase from 30 to 40 books) begin on 11th June
  • Normal access will be maintained to both the HFL and the Radcliffe Camera until 27th July; all services offered as normal
  • HFL move begins 30th July
  • HFL will probably close on 6th August; books can continue to be returned to the HFL until 17th August, but thereafter will need to be returned to the Lower Camera
  • The Radcliffe Camera may need to close completely during parts of August and September to ensure all work is completed before Michaelmas Term.

The Just-In-Time team (email will be on hand to help locate alternative copies of books and journals affected by the move.

For more information on the move itself and the background to it, please see: This page will be updated with further information as and when details become more fixed. You can also keep up to date with progress and plans on the HFL blog.

The VHL will be unaffected throughout. 

Gladstone Link: new reading room in the Bodleian Library, open today

Reposting this from the History Faculty Library’s blog, about the new area for readers in the Central Bodleian which opened today:

The Gladstone Link is a new area of the Bodleian Library for open-shelf library material accessible by readers.  It connects the Old Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera reader spaces and will be accessible from both these buildings. There is shelf space for an additional 270,000 items of library material, roughly doubling the open-shelf provision in the Bodleian Library to around 500,000.

We have also taken the opportunity to link the Old Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe Camera, connecting the reading rooms for the first time, and to create 120 extra reader spaces, as well as facilities such as reader terminals and photocopiers.

Access and opening hours

The Gladstone Link (GL) is accessible from:

  • the Old Bodleian Library (OB) via the staircase in the ‘NW tower’ or the lift in the nearby coat and bag lobby,
  • the Radcliffe Camera (RC) via Bay 1 in the Lower Camera reading room.

It will be open for most of the library’s opening hours, closing 45 minutes before the rest of the library to allow secure and effective closing procedures.  At that point, you will be able to move upstairs with any material you are reading or photocopying and enjoy the remaining open period of the other reading rooms.

Subject to funding, it is planned to open the Radcliffe Camera and Gladstone Link on Sundays in Full Term.

The Lower Camera reading room now has access-controlled entry and exit (as in the Proscholium).

Service changes

As part of the implementation of this new area, the date restrictions surrounding what material can be used in which areas are being revised.

The new regulations will come into effect from Monday 4th July and are as follows:

  • Pre-1701 material can be read in Duke Humfrey’s Library or the Special Collections reading room at RSL by readers with Bod A category membership.
  • Readers can use material dating from 1701 to the present in the reading rooms of the Old Bodleian Library.
  • Readers are able to use material dating from 1851 to the present across the Bodleian complex.

Stack request

You are welcome to bring stack request material (except items older than 1851) into the Gladstone Link from any of the Reserves.  The nearest to the GL is the Lower Camera Reserve.

If you wish to reserve stack request material for further use, you must return it to the Reserve from which you collected it.

We ask you to return other stack request to the Reserve so that we know it is no longer in your possession and in case it has been requested by another reader.

Reader etiquette

We invite you to enjoy an informal study environment in the Gladstone Link.  Furniture of various shapes, sizes, and heights should allow you to find a comfortable position to work in, and to change when you feel like it!

Group study tables in corners or behind acoustic screens provide opportunities for quiet conversation.

Feel free to fiddle with your mobile device or listen to audio through leak-proof headphones.  But, please no loud telephone conversations – the lobbies are more suitable for moderate conversations.

If you prefer silent spaces, the historic reading rooms retain their traditional feel.


By the red lobby on each level:

  •     readers terminals
  •     PCAS photocopier
  •     emergency telephone
  •     transparent fronted lockers

Lockers are for use during the day and must be cleared overnight.

By the blue lobby on the main level only:

  •    6 reader terminals (3 standup and 3 sitdown)

By each of the four exits, you will find a ‘repatriation’ trolley for material from other reading rooms and a reshelving trolley for material from the GL.


You should find good wifi connectivity throughout. Power is provided to most perimeter desks, 3 central rows of columns on the main level and one central row in the basement. The two large square tables on the main level have power sockets under the flaps in the middle.


  • If I take material from one reading room to another, do I have to take it back again?  We (and other readers) would be greatly assisted if you were to take material that you have finished with back to its home reading room but this is not required and there are ‘repatriation’ trolleys in each reading room/area.  NB – stack request material which you wish to retain for further consultation must be taken back to the Reserve from which you collected it.
  • How soon will material be returned to its correct place?  We will be almost continuously repatriating and reshelving and will aim to get material back to its home reading room/area within a few hours.  Material awaiting reshelving will be gathered to a small number of identified places to facilitate your finding it.
  • Does the yellow slip system operate in the Gladstone Link?  No, although it will continue in the reading rooms, we do not propose to introduce it in the GL as the nature of the material and the space is different.
  • Why is the material not all classified?  It would have been prohibitively expensive to classify 270,000 items of stock and we have preferred to maintain investment in the acquisition of new material.  Nevertheless we hope that you will enjoy direct and immediate access to this material and we are looking into cost-effective ways of classifying future new intake.
  • Why isn’t there a fetching service from the Gladstone Link?  Feedback from readers strongly suggests that your preference is for material to be on open access for direct and immediate finding.  It is not normal library practice to provide a fetching service for open-shelf material.
  • What has happened to the conveyor?  Most of the conveyor has been removed to make way for the lift which now occupies the old shaft.  One section has been retained for historical interest.
  • What about Duke Humfrey’s Library?  Duke Humfrey’s will remain a reading room for special collections (including maps and music) until the opening of the Weston Library in Spring 2015.  Only readers with Group A tickets are admitted.

Bodleian update: Gladstone Link, System downtime, Book delivery times

An update on a few things relating to the ongoing changes and improvements in the Bodleian Libraries:

Gladstone Link opening Tuesday 5th July, 12.00pm

The Gladstone Link, a new area for readers, will open at 12:00 on Tuesday 5th July. The Link will connect the Old Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera reader spaces and will be accessible from both these buildings. It will offer work spaces and the books there will be available on the open shelf.  You will be able to identify books held in the Gladstone Link by the shelfmarks beginning (UBHU).  

System downtime, 8th-18th July: Limited fetching service for stack requests and help to locate alternative copies

The Bodleian Libraries will now be offering a limited fetching service for stack requests during the period of downtime from 8th-18th July. However, you are still advised to get your requests in as soon as possible, and before the system is taken down at 5pm on 7th July.  Any books which are up at any reserves within the Bodleian Libraries will stay up throughout the downtime.

If you are having difficulty getting hold of material during the downtime, there will be online support available from the Bodleian Libraries’ website from 7th July, which will help you locate alternative copies of books and journals which are unavailable.  As ever, if you have any questions or need any help, you are always welcome to ask us!

Book delivery times

We’ve had confirmation of the times when the Bodleian van will be calling at the VHL, until at least December. Our morning delivery will now be at around 9.45am and afternoon delivery around 3.15pm. 


News from the Bodleian Library: Advance warning of repaving work in the Old Schools Quadrangle

As part of the Underground Bookstore and Old Bodleian Library Access Project, work to raise the level of the Old Schools Quadrangle will begin on Monday 20 December 2010 (weather permitting) and continue until the end of April 2011.  The quadrangle is in significant need of repair, having last been repaved more than fifty years ago.  Access to the Old Bodleian, Duke Humfrey’s Library, Exhibition Room, Shop and Divinity School will not be affected by the restoration work although the Great Gate entrance to the quadrangle will be closed.

Some of the work will be noisy and involve use of heavy machinery but the Library will try to limit the noisiest work to vacation as far as possible.  Staff will be able to guide you to another library should you wish to find an alternative location in which to study. Please contact if you have any query about this work.

For further information and background information on the project please see

Old Bodleian open, Radcliffe Camera still closed (reopens 12 noon)

Update from the Bodleian Libraries:

Following the eviction of protestors late Thursday afternoon from the Radcliffe Camera, the Library is working hard to resume normal service as soon as possible.
The Old Bodleian Library will be open to readers and visitors on Friday 26 November. We shall reopen the Radcliffe Camera as soon as possible but it is likely that it will remain closed all day to enable essential repairs to be made and cleaning undertaken as a result of the recent occupation.
Please keep checking the website for updates in case we are able to open the Camera sooner.

Update: The Radcliffe Camera will re-open from 12 noon.

Radcliffe Camera and Old Bodleian closed today

Due to the student protests, which occupied the Radcliffe Camera overnight, both the Camera and the Old Bodleian will be closed to readers until further notice.   Keep an eye on the Bodleian Libraries website for more information.

We are unaffected and open as usual, and book deliveries are being made to libraries other than the Central Bodleian.

Update: The Radcliffe Camera and Old Bodleian will be closed all day today. Further updates will follow tomorrow morning.

Bodleian Libraries book moves

A message from the Bodleian Libraries:

From October 2010, the Bodleian Libraries will start to move 6.5 million items to the new Book Storage Facility. Items being moved will be temporarily unavailable. Any item in transit will be marked with the status “Book Moves” on OLIS/SOLO.

If the item you require has the status “Book Moves” you can:

  • Search SOLO/OLIS to see if an electronic version or alternative edition is available
  • Delay your request, if your need is not urgent, and re-order your item once its location has been updated – shown in the status bar on SOLO/OLIS as “In place”
  • Go ahead and order the item via ASR – our dedicated team will see if an alternative copy is available and will contact you.

If you would like to contact our support team directly, please email

See for more details or ask a librarian for help.

Thanks for your patience as we move forward with this major project.

Building projects at the Bodleian Libraries

A notice from the Bodleian Libraries:

The Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford are undertaking a series of major projects to improve our facilities for preserving our collections, supporting researchers, and delivering services to readers. We are endeavouring to deliver an efficient service to our readers during this time but there may be temporary disruption to services. In particular some noisy works will be carried out in the Radcliffe Camera and Old Bodleian Library during the coming year. We will also be moving a substantial proportion of our collections to a new Book Storage Facility at Swindon starting from November 2010 and temporarily closing the New Bodleian Library for extensive refurbishment.

From July 2010 to December 2011 we strongly recommend planning ahead for your research visit. Please contact:
• if you are renewing or applying for a reader’s card for the first time;
• for specific queries about using the Bodleian Libraries’ manuscript archives, rare book collections and other special collections;
• if you have more general research needs or specific queries about the work being carried out.
Tel: 01865 277162 or 01865 277000

The Libraries apologise for this short-term inconvenience whilst we move ahead with these vital projects.
Please see for regular updates and further information about transforming our libraries.  
The VHL will be largely unaffected, but if you are requesting material here from the Bodleian bookstacks you may experience some disruption as collections are moved.