The A to Z of the Bodleian Libraries: Tours and sessions


The A to Z of the Bodleian Libraries

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 Friday 8 September 2023

  Various locations across the Bodleian Libraries

  Free, booking required for all sessions

About this event

As part of The A to Z of the Bodleian Libraries, book to join these tours and show-and-tell sessions on Friday 8 September.

For more events, drop in to the Weston Library on Saturday 9 September as part of Oxford Open Doors.

H is for Herbarium

Visitors will be introduced to the work and collections of the Herbarium and the Sherardian Library of Plant Taxonomy. Oxford University Herbaria had its origins in the mid-seventeenth century with the foundation of the Oxford Physic Garden, and visitors will see some fascinating historic materials which illustrate how the library collections and plant specimens work together. 

Tours last 60 minutes. Advanced booking is essential. Meet at the Department of Biology on South Parks Road.

  • Friday 8 September: 10am–11am and 12pm–1pm

These tours are now fully booked, but you can join the waiting list.

K is for Kennicott, N is for Narcissus Marsh

In the course of an ambitious project to compare all known texts of the Hebrew Bible in order to collate it, Oxford theologian Benjamin Kennicott (1738–1783) put together a remarkable collection of Hebrew manuscript Bibles, many featuring exquisite illumination. This collection now resides at the Bodleian.

The Narcissus Marsh collection is the largest single, named collection of Arabic manuscripts held by the Bodleian Library. It belonged to Archbishop Narcissus Marsh and was bequeathed to the Library in 1714.

View the wonderful objects in these collections in this show-and-tell with Alasdair Watson, Bahari Curator of Persian Collections at the Bodleian Libraries.

Booking is required for this session. Meet in Blackwell Hall at the Weston Library.

  • Friday 8 September, 10am – 11am, 11.30am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 2.30pm.

Book now

L is for Law Library

One of the largest law libraries in the UK, the Bodleian Law Library is housed in a building designed by Leslie Martin and Colin St John Wilson, completed in 1964 and now listed at Grade II*. The library holds over 550,000 volumes in the areas of law, criminology, and human rights. Book on a tour to visit the Law Library, and see a small display on Shakespeare and the law.

Advance booking required. Minimum age is 11 years, and under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.

Find the Law Library on Google Maps. The Law Library is wheelchair accessible.

Tours are running:

  • Friday 8 September, 3–4pm, 5–6pm
  • Saturday 9 September, 11am–12pm

These tours are now fully booked, but you can join the waiting list.

R is for Refugee Studies Collection, S is for Social Science Library

The Bodleian Social Science Library (SSL) is one of the University of Oxford's major research and teaching libraries, supporting staff and students in the social sciences. Find out more and take a look inside on a special tour.

Material from the Refugee Collection will be on display as part of the tours of the Social Science Library. This is the world's largest collection of materials relating to the causes, experiences, consequences and implications of forced displacement. Comprising over 39,000 bibliographic records, the collection is an important and unique archive, and a vital resource for scholarship and current research for the study of forced migration.

Find the Bodleian Social Science Library on Google Maps. The SSL is wheelchair accessible.

Advance booking is required for the tour. Tours are running:

  • Friday 8 September, 2.30pm – 2.55pm, 4.30pm – 4.55pm
  • Saturday 9 September, 10.30am – 10.55am

Book now


This event is held at the Weston Library and other locations across Oxford.

Blackwell Hall, Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG

Find us on Google Maps

 Wheelchair access

The Weston Library is wheelchair accessible.


The Bodleian Libraries Learning Programme is generously supported by The Helen Hamlyn Trust:

The Helen Hamlyn Trust logo
Oxford Open Doors

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