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).
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.
You are welcome to bring stack request material (except items older than 1851) 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.
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.