Digital Bodleian makes portions of the Bodleian's extraordinary library collections open to a wide variety of users from around the world for learning, teaching and research.

About Digital Bodleian

Digital Bodleian first launched in 2015 with the aim of bringing together digitized content from the Bodleian Libraries’ extraordinary and rich collections into a single portal. The Bodleian Libraries have been digitizing content since the early 1990s and Digital Bodleian was and is designed to enable access to that content for the widest possible audience.

Digital Bodleian quickly established itself as a key resource for research and teaching based on Bodleian Libraries’ collections, and usage has steadily increased over the years since launch.

The site has relaunched, in late 2020, with a new and improved search and discovery interface, which aims to

  • Facilitate improved searching, filtering and browsing of collection items
  • Improve display of item-level metadata
  • Enable viewing and download of highest-quality resolution images for the purposes of non-commercial research and teaching
  • Improve curation and delivery of Bodleian Libraries content, as well as the delivery of content on behalf of partners such as Oxford’s colleges and Digital Humanities projects

The relaunched Digital Bodleian benefited from funding from the Oxford University GLAM Digital Strategy Implementation Programme, and the technical redevelopment was completed in partnership with text & bytes LLC.

Library collections

The Bodleian Libraries are committed to digitizing as many of our special collections holdings as possible, but the vastness of these holdings means that only a relatively small amount is available online. If you would like to explore our special collections further, there are a number of additional online resources available. These include the main library catalogue for print collections SOLO, where information about, for example, rare books can be found; Bodleian Archives & Manuscripts, which contains information about our post-1500 archival and manuscript collections; and numerous TEI catalogues, which contain records for our Western medieval and non-Western manuscript collections. Guidance on all of our available finding aids is provided by Weston Library Special Collections. If in doubt, please contact us.

Digital Bodleian also works in partnership with a number of Oxford colleges and Digital Humanities projects to deliver images of their collections. For more information about this service, please contact us.

Credits and acknowledgements

Digital Bodleian is a core service of Bodleian Digital Library Systems and Services (BDLSS).

Head of service

  • Judith Siefring, Head of Digital Collections Discovery

Collections curation

  • Tim Dungate, Digitization and Digital Engagement Manager
  • Joanna Bek, Digitization Assistant

Development team

  • Andrew Irving, Senior Systems Architect
  • Mel Mason, Software Engineer
  • Richard Allen, Software Engineer

Search and browse interface

In addition to the team above, the project to relaunch Digital Bodleian benefitted from the hard work of Wendy Maule, Digital Project Manager, and of former members of staff Andrew Hankinson and Emma Stanford, who gave invaluable direction on technical development and content curation, and Gabriel Ignat, who led on the new design.

We would like to thank our wonderful development partners text & bytes, Hermann Germann who collaborated with us on the design, and our colleagues in Bodleian Special Collections for their help in providing contextual information for these digital collections. We would also like to thank the members of the Digital Bodleian user group, who worked with us to test and refine the new interface.

Contact and feedback

If you have questions about the digital collections, feedback about the site, or would like to report a technical problem, contact: digital-bodleian@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

If you have a query about the physical collections from which digital surrogates were created, contact: specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

The Terms of Use outline the ways in which the content delivered by Digital Bodleian can be used for non-commercial research and teaching. If you would like to discuss the use or purchase of collection images for commercial purposes, please contact imaging@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.