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Radcliffe Science Library reading room, under renovations

RSL reopening

Back in February 2020 the Radcliffe Science Library (RSL) team packed up our boxes, moved our books to the VHL and closed the doors on the RSL.This was to allow a thorough refurbishment of the building. Now more than three years later we will be reopening the RSL to the staff and the students of the University of Oxford for Michaelmas Term 2023.

Some things will be quite different: we’ll be sharing the building with our colleagues from Reuben College and our GLAM colleagues will have space in the basement for the Collections Teaching and Research Centre (CTRC). We have adapted the library area to make the best use of the space we have, based on the feedback from our readers. We’ll have casual seating areas, more group study rooms and flexibility within some of spaces such as in our Seminar Room. Also, we’ve listened to our readers comments and improved the WiFi. Some things will stay the same. We’ll still have a modern and diverse collection of print books on subjects in Mathematics, Physical and Life Science and medical Sciences. We’ll still have training room facilities and emerging technologies such as our 3D printing service. And we’ll still have a team of friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff who are happy to answer questions.

There’s plenty to see and explore so come in during Michaelmas Term and take a look for yourself. We’d love to know what you think. Tell our staff in the library what you think or let us know on twitter or by emailing

New Library Software

Thanks for bearing with us while we moved to new library software. Most of the changes are ‘behind the scenes’ but we have also taken the opportunity to make changes to some aspects of SOLO. Below are the most noticeable changes and improvements. For a full guide to using SOLO, please see the SOLO LibGuide.

Signing into SOLO

If you are not signed into SOLO you will only see whether an item is available or not, rather than whether an item can be borrowed or for how long. Once signed in you will now see loan periods personalised to you (e.g. 7 days; 28 days etc).


Bodleian Libraries lending copies will auto-renew for up to 112 days – unless somebody else places a hold. Find out more about the Bodleian Libraries’ borrowing policy.

Return of Services

All our services are now back and you can now request items through Scan & Deliver and InterLibrary Loan and you can order items from offsite.

If you need any help, please do get in touch with library staff who will be more than happy to help you. Here is how you can contact us:


Changes to borrowing

Along with our new software there has been some changes to our borrowing policy that aim to provide an inclusive and consistent user experience in response to feedback. You can get more information from the Bodleian Libraries website.

The important thing to remember is to log in to SOLO. If you do that you will be shown the borrowing times for the item as they apply to you. So an undergraduate student can borrow up to 20 books at one time but a member of staff can borrow up to 40 books. Those with disabilities that have registered with the disability service may be eligible for extended loan periods.

This is a Bodleian Libraries policy please check with college and departmental libraries about their borrowing policies.


Book move

After being out of the building for over two years the books and staff of the Radcliffe Science Library (RSL) will be returning to our newly refurbished building for October 2023. can you tell we're excited?

Moving the books from the Vere Harmsworth Library (VHL) will take some time so we're going to begin packing up our books in early September. From 4th September until the end of the month we will be packing and moving books from the VHL to the RSL.

Staff will be able to fetch books if you can’t find them on the shelf. Full details on our blog.

We apologise for the inconvenience.