Announcement: VHL closure on April 30th, 2021 (morning only)

The Vere Harmsworth Library (VHL) will be closed for the morning of April 30th, 2021, due to essential electrical works across the Rothermere American Institute (RAI) building.

The VHL expects to re-open from 1:30pm, for the beginning of the afternoon study sessions (1:30pm – 5:00pm), and remain open until the end of the evening sessions (5:30pm-9:00pm). We will aim to update readers of any changes to these plans as soon as possible via our Twitter account.

VHL study spaces and Browse and Borrow slots for the morning of April 30th have been removed on SpaceFinder, alongside collection slots for RSL and VHL material via Click and Collect. Readers wishing to return their books in the morning may use the Returns hubs based around Oxford.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you have any questions about the expected closure, please email


Announcement: VHL closed February 19th 2021

Due to required construction works in the reading rooms, the Vere Harmsworth Library will be closed on Friday, February 19th, 2021.

Reading room study space bookings and collection slots have been cancelled for this day. Readers who had already made bookings should have received an email notification confirming the cancellation.

We apologise for any inconvenience the closure causes.

The VHL will be reopened on Monday 22nd February.

If you have any questions, please contact 

RSL Decant 2020-21: Planned Library closure on morning of Monday 9th December

The Vere Harmsworth Library will be closed, 9 am-1 pm, Monday 9th December, 2019. This is to allow for unavoidable work on the Ground Floor of the Library.

As part of the RSL Decant to VHL Project 2020-21, works will need to be carried out by the ground floor entrance of the Vere Harmsworth Library. This will include the temporary removal of the Enquiry Desk.

The RSL Decant Project Team and construction workers have advised the Vere Harmsworth Librarian that access into the Vere Harmsworth Library Ground Floor entrance cannot be maintained whilst this unavoidable work is in progress. It will also be disruptive to Library services, and include a significant amount of noise.

After careful consideration of the above information, and of alternative methods of entry into the Library, the Vere Harmsworth Librarian has agreed to close the Library for the morning of the 9th December, to ensure that work can be completed as swiftly as possible.

The Library will re-open in the afternoon at 1 pm, subject to the completion of the works. The Librarian will aim to update Readers on the progress of the works as soon as possible.

The morning book delivery has been cancelled, but the afternoon delivery will be still be occurring. Deliveries expected for the morning should be made available for the afternoon. Readers can return any items expected on the 9th in the afternoon. If you have any concerns about your hold requests or loans, please contact us (details below.)

We will aim to provide information on any further works in the Library via this blog, the Twitter (@vhllib) and Facebook (@vereharmsworthlibrary) accounts, and by email.

We apologise for any disruption or inconvenience caused to Readers at this time. Any VHL readers wishing to speak to library staff, please ring 01865 (2)77162 (Main Enquiry Desk, Bodleian).

Further information on the proposed book moves and a title list of relegated journals and reference titles can be found in the RSL Decant Consultation documents on the VHL website. 

If you have any further questions about working in the Vere Harmsworth Library, please ask at the Information Desk, or email For further information about the RSL Decant, email Bethan Davies, VHL Librarian at

Tuesday 12 Nov: VHL open 10am-4pm with limited service

Following the leak and shut-down of electrics in the RAI and VHL yesterday and today, we continue to experience disruption to power. For Tuesday 12 November we are planning to open the library and run a limited service as follows:

  • The RAI building is open as normal but the Library will be open between 10am and 4pm only.
  • Only the study spaces in the Mezzanine Level will be accessible. Please note that the desk lamps and powersockets will not work.
  • None of collections on the open shelves on the 1st and 2nd Floor will be accessible due to lack of lighting. A staff fetching service from open shelf collections will operate during this time.
  • Book stack deliveries will resume. Orders due to have been delivered today will be made available tomorrow.
  • Wifi is working, but there will be no Library PCs and PCAS services.
  • We are not expecting our telephones to work.

We hope for full power to be restored on Wednesday but will make a further announcement tomorrow.

You can follow us on Twitter for any further updates and if you need to speak to a member of library staff, please contact the Bodleian’s Main Enquiry Desk on 01865 (2)77162.

Many apologies for the continued disruption.

Announcement: VHL Library Closed

The Vere Harmsworth Library is closed from today (Sunday 10th November, 2019) and all day Monday (11th November 2019.)
This is due to a leak which requires the electronics of the RAI Building (and therefore the VHL Library) to be shut down.
Updates on the situation will be provided via:
Queries regarding library access can be passed to the Bodleian’s Main Enquiry Desk on 01865 (2)77162.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.