The Bodleian Libraries are a collection of 28 libraries that serve the University of Oxford in England, including, most famously, the Bodleian Library itself, as well as many other (but not all) central and faculty libraries. As of the 2016–17 year, the libraries collectively hold almost 13 million printed items, as well as numerous other objects and artefacts.
A major product of this collaboration has been a joint integrated library system, OLIS (Oxford Libraries Information System), and its public interface, SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online), which provides a union catalogue covering all member libraries, as well as the libraries of individual colleges and other faculty libraries, which are not members of the group but do share cataloguing information.
Its busiest library is the Social Sciences Library, which, at its peak, serves 7,500 visitors in a period of approximately nine weeks.
As of the 2016–17 year, the group cares for almost 13 million printed items, 26,805 metres (87,943 ft) of archives and manuscripts, and a staff of over 561 (full-time equivalents). It is the second largest library in the UK (behind the British Library). The continued growth of the library has resulted in a severe shortage of storage space. Over 1.5 million items are stored outside Oxford. Locations formerly used included a site at Nuneham Courtenay and a disused salt mine in Cheshire. In 2007 and 2008, in an effort to obtain better and more capacious storage facilities for the library’s collections, Oxford University Library Services (OULS) tried to obtain planning permission to build a new book depository on the Osney Mead site, to the southwest of Oxford city centre. However, this application was unsuccessful and the new Book Storage Facility was instead constructed at a site on South Marston Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Swindon. This Book Storage Facility, which cost £26 million, opened in October 2010 and has 153 miles (246 kilometres) of shelving, including 3,224 bays with 95,000 shelf levels, and 600 map cabinets to hold 1.2 million maps and other items. Previously-existing Osney Mead premises are used for backroom operations.
The Bodleian Libraries group includes centralised departments:
- Academic and Learning Services (ALS)
- Bodleian Digital Library Systems and Services (BDLSS, including Oxford Digital Library (ODL) and Imaging Services)
- Collections Management (Collections & Resource Description and Storage & Logistics)
- Conservation and Collection Care
The current Director of the Libraries Richard Ovenden, like his predecessors Sarah Thomas and founding director Reginald Carr, holds the position concurrently with that of Bodley's Librarian. Senior administrative staff are based in the Clarendon Building on the central Bodleian estate.
As of September 2017, the website of the group lists the following member libraries:
- Bodleian KB Chen China Centre Library
- Bodleian Education Library
- Bodleian Health Care Libraries (Cairns Library at John Radcliffe Hospital, Knowledge Centre at Old Road, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Horton Library at Horton General Hospital, Banbury)
- Bodleian History Faculty Library, in Radcliffe Camera
- Bodleian Japanese Library
- Bodleian Latin American Centre Library
- Bodleian Law Library
- Bodleian Library (Old Library, Radcliffe Camera, Weston Library)
- Bodleian Music Faculty Library
- Bodleian Oriental Institute Library
- Bodleian Social Science Library
- English Faculty Library
- Leopold Muller Memorial Library (Jewish studies)
- Philosophy and Theology Faculties Library, in former Radcliffe Infirmary building
- Radcliffe Science Library (including the Alexander Library of Ornithology)
- Rewley House Continuing Education Library
- Sackler Library (classical studies, art and archaeology)
- Sainsbury Library at the Saïd Business School
- Sherardian Library of Plant Taxonomy
- Taylor Institution Library (medieval, Slavonic and modern languages)
- Tylor Library (anthropology)
- Vere Harmsworth Library at the Rothermere American Institute
- Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine Library
A further 40 college libraries and 20 faculty and speciality libraries are not members of the group.
- "Curators of the University Libraries Bodleian Libraries: Annual Report 2016/2017" (PDF). Supplement 1. University of Oxford Gazette. 148 (5201): 268. 25 April 2018.
- Thomas, Sarah. "Welcome to the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford". Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- "Timeline of Bodleian Libraries Events from 2000" (pdf). Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- "OULS changes name to Bodleian Libraries". 2 March 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Oxford University Library Services (2005). "A university library for the 21st century: an exhibition of proposals by the Oxford University Library services (OULS)" (PDF). University of Oxford. Retrieved 9 February 2006.
- "Bodleian preparing to move stock to salt mine". Cherwell. Archived from the original on 23 June 2006. Retrieved 26 February 2007. Updated numbers can be found here Archived 23 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 2009-12-28).
- Book Storage Facility Archived 15 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine from the University of Oxford website (accessed 2009-12-28)
- "Vast bookstore opens as famed library runs out of space", BBC News, 6 October 2010
- "Bodleian Libraries [list]". Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford. Retrieved 13 September 2017.