englands-heritage-cities facebook instagram key-alternative key list map twitter
Bodleian Librairies
Thomas James


Bodleian Libraries

Oxford's Bodleian Library is so much more than just a collection of books. This stunning example of English Gothic architecture has been standing for over 400 years and the libraries now hold more than 12 million items. Compare modern university living to study in the days of treasure-bound tomes and reading by candle light.

Library Landscape Bodleian Librairies

An ancient seat of learning

Let yourself be lead through the pages of the Bodleian's history by its first librarian - Thomas James. Through his stories, you'll get a rare look into the hidden lives of Oxford scholars throughout the ages.

Walk in the footsteps of notable Oxford students such as Oscar Wilde, John Radcliffe, and, of course, Sir Thomas Bodley himself. Learn about the famous oath of the Bodleian, the infamous Oxford University police force, and the students who studied themselves to death within its walls. All this, whilst surrounded by the ever-growing knowledge of generations throughout history.



Bodleian Library Interior

The weight of knowledge

The Bodleian - affectionately nicknamed 'the Bod' by Oxford's students - opened its doors in 1602, and has since grown into one of the largest libraries in the UK. Second only to the British Library in terms of size, the books, scrolls, parchments, and manuscripts housed in its many buildings are some of the oldest in Britain.

Today, the library is much more than a simple book lending and reference service. It continues the Bodleian's long history of bibliographical innovation through training for professionals and the public, extensive book and manuscript conservation, and in-depth research.

Step inside and be inspired by the weight of knowledge contained within these walls, just like thousands of students before you.




About your visit

The app

Meet William Shakespeare, the Venerable Bede, Sir Joseph Banks, and a cast of colourful figures ready to take you on a journey through the annals of history. Along the way, you'll discover some of England's tallest tales, horrifying histories, magical myths, and larger-than-life legends.

All these stories and more will give you unique insight into the history of England's most stunning heritage sites. Simply download the English Historic Cities app now and take it with you to one of our 12 essential locations around the UK.

Useful info

Broad St,

Opening hours: 9am – 5pm daily

01865 277094