Digital Bodleian Terms of Use

Terms of use

Digital Bodleian is a site operated by the Chancellor Master and Scholars of the University of Oxford on behalf of its Bodleian Libraries ("We").

Digital Bodleian is the Bodleian Libraries’ core platform for delivering digitized images of the Bodleian’s unique collections, as well as born-digital images from those collections, and as such aims to support and facilitate research, learning, teaching and engagement with those collections, for the widest possible audience. The terms of use described here will apply to the majority of Bodleian Libraries content on the site, but some items may have particular restrictions or may belong to others – for example, one of Oxford University’s colleges, and therefore users must check the individual terms of use for each item before reusing the content.

These terms of use set out the conditions for use of the content on Digital Bodleian. By downloading, copying, or reusing images from Digital Bodleian, you confirm that you accept these terms of use. These terms of use do not grant users any rights to use the names, logos or trademarks of either the University of Oxford or the Bodleian Libraries.

Subject to the caveats above, most of the images on Digital Bodleian are made available under a Creative Commons non-commercial license, with attribution (CC-BY-NC 4.0: This means that users are able to use, distribute, remix, and adapt the images made available on Digital Bodleian, for non-commercial purposes only.

When reusing images from Digital Bodleian – so, where you distribute, disseminate or communicate the content to another person - you must (wherever possible) acknowledge the source of the content by including (at least) the following information: “[shelfmark or other identifier]”, Image: “[Holding institution, e.g. Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford]”. Please:

  • link to Digital Bodleian as the source of the content;
  • include any relevant copyright notice provided by Digital Bodleian on the content, or alternatively in the following format: “Copyright © [name of copyright owner][year of first publication]“; and
  • refer to the Creative Commons licence CC-BY-NC 4.0.

You may not remove any copyright, trademark or other proprietary notices including attribution metadata, credits and notices, that are placed in or near the text, images or data.

Further copyright, data protection and privacy laws may still apply to content. You must comply with all terms or restrictions other than copyright (such as trademark, publicity and privacy rights, or contractual restrictions) as may be specified in the metadata or as may otherwise apply to the Content.

It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright and other use conditions in the country in which you are accessing the content before copying, transmitting, or making other use of Digital Bodleian content. Digital Bodleian contains general information based on English law and, although we endeavour to ensure that the content is accurate and up to date, users should seek appropriate legal advice before taking or refraining from taking any action.

Where our site contains links to other sites and resources provided by third parties, these links are provided for your information only. Such links should not be interpreted as approval by us of those linked websites or information you may obtain from them. We have no control over the contents of those sites or resources.

The Bodleian Libraries reserve the right to update these terms of use at any time. Each time you wish to use Digital Bodleian, please check these terms of use to ensure you understand the terms that apply at that time.

In order to help users understand the types of use that are encouraged or prohibited, further details on permitted and non-permitted uses are outlined below.

Permitted use of the content

The Bodleian Libraries wish to encourage wide engagement and reuse of collections for the purposes of private study, research, teaching, and educational instruction. This means that, unless indicated otherwise in an individual item's terms of use, users can reuse Digital Bodleian images in the following ways:

  • Personal use of content for non-commercial research and private study
  • Educational use of content by a student in course-related work (including dissertations and theses)
  • Educational use of content for the purpose of teaching and instruction within an educational establishment or closed group online teaching
  • Educational use of content in presentations at educational conferences and closed group online conferences
  • Use of content in academic textbooks/e-books and academic books/e-books with print runs up to and including 3,000 copies. Restricted to inside use only (book jackets and book/e-book covers are subject to commercial conditions)
  • Use of content in journals/e-journals and academic newsletters. Restricted to inside use only.
  • Academic and research-orientated websites (including institutional/subject repositories and pre-print servers), apps, blogs and social media channels that are not linked to the promotion of any commercial activity
  • Reproduction of images to promote an exhibition to which the Bodleian is a lender

This list is not exhaustive, but is intended to illustrate the Bodleian Libraries’ wish to encourage reuse of Bodleian images for academic and scholarly endeavour. If, having read these conditions for permitted use, you are still not sure if your intended use is permitted, please contact

Prohibited use of the content

The Bodleian Libraries restrict the commercial use of collection images made available on Digital Bodleian. This means that images cannot be used for commercial purposes without the granting of the necessary permissions and payment of the appropriate fees. This restriction is in place in part because the Bodleian Libraries seek to protect the commercial partnerships and activities based on images of our collections that provide an income stream that supports the work of the Bodleian, including our digitization efforts.

Under the terms of use, images made available on Digital Bodleian cannot be used for commercial purposes. Commercial purposes means any use of the content that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or monetary compensation. This includes any use on or in anything that is itself charged for or is intended to make a profit.

As outlined above, the use of Bodleian Libraries images is permitted in an academic publication. As a guideline, the Bodleian Libraries consider academic publications to be academic books, textbooks or e-books with print runs up to and including 3000 copies, and to journals/e-journals and academic newsletters. This permitted use applies only to images used inside a publication, and commercial restrictions apply to publications with a print run of over 3000, and to the use of images on book jackets and e-book covers. Other examples of commercial uses which require permission for use and payment of appropriate fees include use in: newspapers and magazines; broadcast media; commercial websites, apps, blogs and social media channels, including those of the trading arms of charities, that are used as a platform to promote or conduct commercial activities (for example to sell products or services); exhibitions and displays; exhibition-related books and catalogues; advertising, marketing and promotional materials (print and digital); commercial products and packaging; displays in commercial outlets.

For Bodleian Libraries content, requests for high-resolution digital images or other formats that are not available for download on Digital Bodleian, and licensing enquiries regarding commercial uses, should be sent to Further information may also be found at: Bodleian Imaging Services.

Enquiries regarding commercial use of content not held by the Bodleian Libraries, such as an Oxford college, should be directed to the institution concerned, in order that the appropriate permissions can be granted.

In addition, you must not:

  • use any content in a manner which may suggest that you are part of, or otherwise associated with, the University of Oxford, or any other body associated with it; or
  • use any part of the content for purposes which might adversely affect the image, reputation, goodwill, distinctiveness or prestige of the University of Oxford or the Bodleian Libraries or its collections

Duration of permission

If you use Digital Bodleian in breach of the terms of these terms of use, your right to use the Digital Bodleian website will cease immediately.

We do not guarantee that our site, or any content on it, will always be available or be uninterrupted. We may suspend or withdraw or restrict the availability of all or any part of Digital Bodleian for business and operational reasons. We will try to give you reasonable notice of any suspension or withdrawal.

You are also responsible for ensuring that all persons who access Digital Bodleian through your internet connection are aware of these terms of use and other applicable terms and conditions, and that they comply with them.

The University makes reasonable efforts to ensure that the reproduction of the content on the Digital Bodleian website is done in accordance with applicable copyright laws. If, however, you are concerned that part of the content is included on the Digital Bodleian website in breach of applicable copyright laws, please see our Take Down Policy.

Our liability

Whether you are a consumer or a business user:

  • We do not exclude or limit in any way our liability to you where it would be unlawful to do so. This includes liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence or the negligence of our employees, agents or subcontractors and for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation.

If you are a business user:

  • We exclude all implied conditions, warranties, representations or other terms that may apply to our site or any content on it.
  • We will not be liable to you for any loss or damage, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, even if foreseeable, arising under or in connection with: use of, or inability to use, our site; or use of or reliance on any content displayed on our site.
  • We exclude all implied conditions, warranties, representations or other terms that may apply to our site or any content on it.
  • Please note that we only provide our site for research and private use. You agree not to use our site for any commercial or business purposes, and we have no liability to you for any loss of profit, loss of business, business interruption, or loss of business opportunity.

Contact us

If you have any comments or questions about the terms of use for Digital Bodleian or any other Bodleian Libraries website, please contact and we will endeavour to answer your questions where possible. These terms of use should be read in conjunction with our privacy policy available at

If you have Digital Bodleian technical or service enquiries, please contact:

If you have enquiries about items in Bodleian Libraries Special Collections, please see information (including contact details for collection areas) available here: