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Statute VIII: Libraries, Museums and Scientific Collections, and the University Press


Approved with effect from 1 October 2002
(Supplement (1) to
Gazette No. 4633, 9 October 2002)
Amended with effect from 15 October 2002 (
Gazette Vol. 133, p. 250, 17 October 2002), 5 December 2002 (Gazette, Vol. 137, p. 850, 8 March 2007), 1 October 2003 (Gazette, Vol. 134, p. 91, 9 October 2003), 13 November 2003 (Gazette, Vol. 134, p. 351, 27 November 2003), 2 March 2010 (Gazette, Vol. 140, 3 December 2009, p. 329, 9 October 2012 (Gazette, Vol. 143, p. 81, 11 October 2012) and 16 June 2015 (Gazette, Vol. 145, p. 650, 18 June 2015)

University Libraries, and Museums and Scientific Collections

1. The Bodleian Libraries and the major museums and scientific collections of the University constitute a national and international scholarly resource, and the bodies responsible to Council for these institutions shall ensure that they are maintained as such and shall advise Council as necessary on the University's care and management of them.

University Libraries

2. The libraries and information services provided by the University and administered as provided by sections 3 and 4 shall collectively be called the Bodleian Libraries.

3. There shall be a body of Curators of the University Libraries which shall be responsible, under Council, for the safe keeping, preservation, orderly administration, finance, and general policy of the libraries within, and the services provided by, the Bodleian Libraries.

4. The membership, functions, and powers of the Curators of the University Libraries shall be laid down by Council by regulation.

University Museums

5. There shall be the following major museums and scientific collections of the University:

(1) Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology;

(2) Botanic Garden;

(3) Museum of the History of Science;

(4) Oxford University Museum of Natural History;

(5) Pitt Rivers Museum.

6. There shall be an Oxford University Museums Board which shall advise Council as appropriate on any matters connected with the University's museums and scientific collections.

7. There shall be a body of Visitors of the Ashmolean Museum which shall be responsible to Council through the Oxford University Museums Board, in accordance with any policies and structures set by that Board, for the safe keeping, preservation, orderly administration, finance and general policy of the museum.

8. There shall be a body of Visitors of the Botanic Garden which shall be responsible to Council through the Oxford University Museums Board, in accordance with any policies and structures set by that Board, for the safe keeping, preservation, orderly administration, finance, and general policy of the garden.

9. There shall be a body of Visitors of the Museum of the History of Science which shall be responsible to Council through the Oxford University Museums Board, in accordance with any policies and structures set by that Board, for the safe keeping, preservation, orderly administration, finance and general policy of the Museum.

10. There shall be a body of Visitors of the Oxford Museum of Natural History which shall be responsible to Council through the Oxford University Museums Board, in accordance with any policies and structures set by that Board, for the safe keeping, preservation, orderly administration, finance and general policy of the museum.

11. There shall be a body of Visitors of the Pitt Rivers Museum which shall be responsible to Council through the Oxford University Museums Board, in accordance with any policies and structures set by that Board, for the safe keeping, preservation, orderly administration, finance and general policy of the museum.

12. The membership, functions, and powers of the bodies referred to in sections 5–11 of this statute shall be laid down by Council by regulation.

University Press

13. There shall be in the University as a department of the University the Oxford University Press.

14. In the statutes and regulations it is called 'the Press'.

15. The function of the Press is to further the University's objects by publishing in any medium anywhere in the world.

16. (1) The affairs of the Press shall, on behalf of Congregation, be in the charge of a body known as 'the Delegacy of the Oxford University Press'.

(2) The members of the Delegacy are called 'the Delegates'.

17. (1) The Delegates shall establish and maintain a Finance Committee of the Press.

(2) The Finance Committee under the general authority of the Delegates shall direct and manage the business, assets, and finances of the Press.

(3) The membership of the Finance Committee, the period of office of members, and the conditions governing their appointment or reappointment shall be determined by Council by regulation.

(4) The Finance Committee may set up such subcommittees from time to time as it thinks fit.

18. The following shall be the Delegates:

(1) the Vice-Chancellor;

(2), (3)the Proctors;

(4) the Assessor;

(5) the Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Press if not already a Delegate when elected as chairman;

(6) – (22) seventeen members of Congregation appointed by Council.

19. (1) An appointed Delegate shall hold office for five years, except that in the case of a vacancy arising in the course of an academic year the appointment shall be for five years together with the remainder of that academic year.

(2) An appointed Delegate shall then be eligible for reappointment for a second period of five years.

(3) Exceptionally any Delegate may be reappointed for a third period of five years, subject to confirmation by resolution of Council.

(4) The Chairman of the Finance Committee may be reappointed for up to three periods of five years from his or her first appointment as a Delegate, subject to confirmation by resolution of Council.

20. Council shall, in making appointments, bear in mind the need to ensure that the composition of the Delegacy as a whole is such as to cover the main branches of academic studies and at the same time to provide a sufficiency of persons competent in matters of organisation and finance.

21. Council may determine by regulation that if an appointed Delegate has attended fewer than a prescribed number of meetings in any academic year, his or her membership of the Delegacy shall end at the close of that year.

22. The Delegates shall appoint a Secretary to the Delegates, also known as Chief Executive of the Press, and a Finance Director.

23. (1) The Delegates may from time to time delegate to any other body or person responsibility for any matter for which responsibility has been laid on them and may delegate such powers as they consider necessary for the discharge of this responsibility.

(2) Any delegation made under sub-section (1) above may be withdrawn (either generally or in respect of a specific item) at any time, and the Delegates shall not be relieved of their general responsibility for any matter which they may have delegated.

(3) Any body to which or person to whom the Delegates have delegated responsibility and powers under sub-section (2) above may, unless the Delegates otherwise determine, sub-delegate them to another body or person.

24. Subject to the provisions of this statute the Delegates or any person authorised by them under the statutes and regulations may do all things permitted by law which are necessary or desirable in the conduct of the affairs of the Press including:

(1) purchasing, retaining, selling, or transferring stocks, funds, shares, or other securities;

(2) borrowing money for the purposes of the Press and making the income of the Press or any property standing to its account security for any loans;

(3) setting up incorporated or unincorporated branches of the Press anywhere in the world;

(4) employing persons for service in the Press and determining the conditions as to salary, pensions, and otherwise on which they may be employed.

25. (1) The Delegates shall cause the accounts of the Press to be drawn up and submitted to them.

(2) The Delegates shall then submit the accounts to Council in accordance with regulations made by Council.