Old Bodleian

The Old Bodleian is home to 3 distinctive reading rooms and forms part of the larger Bodleian complex (see Radcliffe Camera and Gladstone Link).

Old Bodleian accessible entrance as viewed from the archway in the central quad.

The building is partially accessible to those who require a level access route. 

To use the Bodleian Library it is necessary to register your card and agree a personal evacuation plan. 

Please contact: access@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

To view the rest of the Bodleian complex:



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There is no University owned car-parking.

However blue badge holders can park on Catte Street (double yellow lines for 3 hours)

There are disabled parking bays on Broad Street/Parks Road (13 spaces).

Oxford city center blue badge parking map (725kb)



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The Old Bodleian is accessed via a quadrangle- the entrance and inner courtyard are all level access. 

Level access to the inner quadrangle is via a small ramp from the street (Catte Street) to the pavement then via a large arch.  The pavement is narrow in places.

There is additional access to the quad via a small flight of steps from Radcliffe square.

Once inside the quadrangle (there are old uneven flagstones that might represent a trip hazard or difficulty for some wheelchair users), the main entrance is located behind the statue in the inner courtyard.

This is also the entrance to the Divinity School, Convocation House and Chancellors Court beyond.

(There are some stepped areas between the Divinity School and Convocation House but each of these chambers is accessible via external wooden ramps).

The main lobby forms part of the quadrangle and at either end of the lobby is a gated desk with swipe card access leading to internal stairwells that lead to reading rooms.

If you require level access to the Bodleian Library itself (not the Divinity School complex) there is an alternative entrance located in the quadrangle (to the right of the statue). 

There is a small wooden ramp (some users may find this a little steep) leading to swipe card entry on the left hand side.  When swiped the door automatically opens.

There is also a café (ramped access) and a small exhibition space and a gift shop. All of these are either ramped or level access.

Please click on the thumbnails below to enlarge:



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There is one major lift in the Old Bodleian.

It is accessed via the alternative entrance.

This lift services:

  1. Lower Reading Room,
  2. Upper Reading Rooms and,
  3. the Gladstone Link (an underground passage to further reading rooms and the Radcliffe camera)

Please click on the thumbnails below to enlarge:


Accessible toilets

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There is only one accessible toilet. 

It is located on the ground floor to the right of the accessible entrance.

Please click on the thumbnail below to enlarge:


Standard toilets

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There are 3 sets of standard toilets in the Old Bodleian, two sets of Women’s and one set of Men’s.  The Men's and one set of Women’s are located in the right hand corner of the building, on a corridor adjacent to the lift. A further set of Women’s is located off the North Staircase, between the ground floor and the Lower Reading Room.

See floor plans for detailed locations.

hearing loop

Hearing support system

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There are three hearing loops:

2 fixed, located at the Information Desk in the Proscholium and at the Upper Reading Room Staffed Reserve desk.

1 portable, can be collected from Main Enquiry Desk in the Lower Reading Room.

opening hours

Opening hours

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Term time

Mon-Fri 9.00-22.00
Sat 10.00-16.00
Sun 11.00-17.00

Duke Humfrey's Library (inaccessible)
Monday-Friday 9.00-19.00
Saturday 10.00-1600
Sunday Closed.

Vacation time

Monday-Friday 9.00-19.00
Saturday 10.00-16.00
Sunday 11.00-17.00 only open the first Sunday of each vacation.


Good Friday to Easter Monday.
August Bank Holiday weekend.


Inaccessible areas

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Below are the areas not accessible to those who require level access:

  1. Duke Humpfrey's Library: located on a mezzanine floor and as such is currently not accessible to those that require level access.
  2. Lower reading room: If you are unable to manage steps, you will only have access to the north wing. 
  3. Upper reading room: Due to fire regulations, you will only have access to the north wing (please do not go beyond the corner).

Staff can transfer inaccessible material to an accessible area. Please ask staff in the reading rooms or email: access@bodleian.ox.ac.uk to have material transferred in advance of your visit.


To browse all images within this page use the gallery below:



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At a glance

On-site disabled parking spaces 0
Parking nearby (within 200m) Blue Badge
Main entrance Not level
Alternative entrance (level access) Yes
Door entry Powered
Direct contact to lodge Yes
Number of floors 3
Accessible toilets 1
Lift to all floors Yes
Hearing support system Yes