The Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford

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The Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford

Discover the distinguished history of one of the most celebrated libraries in the world

Oxford’s libraries are among the most famous in the world, not only for their exceptional collection of books and manuscripts, but also for their historic buildings, some of which have remained in continuous use since the Middle Ages.

Associated with writers such as JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Oscar Wilde, Kenneth Grahame and the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, the Library’s literary history is rich and unparalleled.

Today the Bodleian Library offers visitors a unique experience, combining the antiquity of the Old Library with the modern exhibition space of the Weston Library.

Duke Humfrey's

Expert guides bring to life the story of the Library on our behind the scenes tours.  30 Minute Tours include a visit to the Divinity School, a masterpiece of English Gothic architecture, and the medieval Duke Humfrey’s Library, both of which featured in the Harry Potter films.  60 Minute Tours include both of these sites, as well as the Convocation House, recently featured in the Oscar-winning film The Favourite, and Chancellor’s Court.  Extended 90 Minute Tours also visit the iconic Radcliffe Camera, one of Oxford’s most celebrated landmarks.

Self-guided audio tours visiting the Divinity School and Quadrangles are available in English, French, German, Spanish and Mandarin.  They provide a fascinating overview of the Library and University’s history and architecture.

The recently renovated purpose-built Weston Library offers two free-access rotating exhibitions featuring notable works from our collections.

Details of current exhibitions are available on our website:

To make your visit even more special we offer refreshment packages for groups at the Weston Library café, including morning coffee with freshly-baked pastries, and afternoon scones and teas.

From books to bags and mugs to magnets, our two shops also provide a range of exclusively designed souvenirs and gifts, including a bespoke Tolkien range.

Parking for coaches is available in the city centre, with a drop-off point a short walk from the Library.

This winter we are delighted to offer groups a 10% discount on all bookings from 4 November – 14 February 2020. Just quote code AW1920A when making your booking.

To reserve your tour please email:, or call 01865 287400.

Terms and conditions apply: Children under the age of 11 are unfortunately not permitted in the reading rooms.  Access to the reading rooms is via several flights of stairs, and therefore not suitable for those with limited mobility. Group size cannot exceed 13. The discount applies only to tours; merchandise and refreshment packages are not included in this offer.


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