Patrons of the Bodleian

About the Bodleian Patrons

The Bodleian Patrons support the Library’s work to remain, in Thomas Bodley’s words, “the most absolute and sufficient for the furtheringe of students of all kyndes of knowledge of good literature that was ever yet in beinge, in any publique place of study”.

One of the world’s oldest libraries, the Bodleian has been fortunate to have a long-standing tradition of philanthropy that began with Sir Thomas Bodley’s bequest four hundred years ago. The continuous generosity of our supporters since has allowed us to expand, preserve, and make available the treasures in our collections.

Our Patrons community is a vital part of this centuries-old tradition of support. Funds support acquisitions, special projects and other aspects of the Libraries’ work. Members enjoy a range of exclusive talks as well as trips abroad, copies of our exhibition catalogues, private tours and a discount on hiring Divinity School for events. Join today and help to make available the world’s intellectual heritage for future generations.

Join now

  Join online by card or by Direct Debit

 Download a membership form and send with your payment to: Membership Officer, Bodleian Libraries Development Office, Clarendon Building, Broad St, Oxford, OX1 3BG

 Call 01865 277234

 Join at the Weston Library Information Desk or in the Bodleian’s shops


The antiquarians Richard Rawlinson (1690–1755) and Francis Douce (1757–1834) are among the most generous benefactors to the Libraries in the Bodleian’s history. The Rawlinson Patrons and the Douce Patrons continue their tradition of generous philanthropy and are proudly named in their honour.

Richard Rawlinson Patrons

£1,000 per annum

  • Invitation to the annual Patrons European trip 
  • Exclusive, intimate, behind the scenes events
  • Exhibition private views, curatorial talks and tours
  • Acknowledgement of your support in the Bodleian Library Friends’ Newsletter
  • A free subscription to the Bodleian Library Record, the Library’s scholarly journal
  • All the benefits of being an Honourable Member of the Friends of the Bodleian including special events, exclusive newsletters and member-only discounts
  • A free copy of Marks of Genius (special edition) when you join (rrp £200)

Francis Douce Patrons

£5,000 per annum
All the benefits of being a Richard Rawlinson Patron plus:

  • Invitation to the annual Patrons Dinner
  • A 10% discount when hiring the Divinity School for private events (up to 4 hours) 
  • One private tour of the Bodleian per year
  • Free ticket to the annual Bodley Lecture

Virtual coffee with a Bodleian expert

We are offering all our Bodleian Patrons the chance to enjoy a ‘virtual coffee’ with one of our experts. This exciting new initiative, available exclusively to the Patrons, puts you in a one-to-one conversation with specialists who share your passion for a particular subject, offering you a truly personalised Bodleian experience. In the first instance, we expect this to take place via video call, but when possible in the future we hope to offer face to face meetings as well.

The Bodleian has a breadth of expertise to suit you, but below is a non-exhaustive list of the conversations we could offer:

  • ‘Cataloguing and acquiring medieval manuscripts’ with Martin Kauffmann (Head of Early and Rare Collections) and Matthew Holford (Tolkien Curator of Medieval Manuscripts)
  • ‘Building a rare book collection’ with Sarah Wheale (Head of Rare Books)
  • ‘Early modern manuscripts, meeting Aphra Behn’ with Mike Webb (Early Modern Manuscripts curator)
  • ‘Managing modern archives’ with Susan Thomas (Head of Archives & Modern Manuscripts)
  • ‘Conserving Kafka’ with Fiona McClees (Bodleian Paper Conservator)
  • ‘Flaws in Shakespeare’s First Folio’ with Andrew Honey (Book Conservator)
  • ‘Musical manuscripts’ with Martin Holmes (Music Librarian)
  • ‘Artists Books’ with Chris Fletcher (Keeper of Special Collections)
  • ‘How to Display Collections’ with Madeline Slaven (Head of Exhibitions)
  • ‘Ephemera’ with Julie Anne Lambert (Librarian of the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera)
  • ‘Mexican Codices’ with Virginia Llado-Buisan (Head of Conservation)
  • ‘Understanding Shelley’ with Stephen Hebron (Curator of Special Projects)
  • ‘The Bodleian’s Map Collection’ with Nick Millea (Map Librarian)
  • ‘Chinese Studies at the Bodleian’ with Mamti Sunuodula (Head of East Asia and HD Chung Chinese Studies Librarian)
  • ‘Sanskrit Collections’ with Camillo Formigatti (John Clay Sanskrit Librarian)
  • ‘Hebrew and Jewish collections’ with César Merchan-Hamann (Curator of Hebraica and Judaica)
  • ‘Japanese Rare Books’ with Alessandro Bianchi (Bodleian Japanese Librarian)

To take part email Friends of the Bodleian indicating the area or areas you are most interested in, however niche, or a specific expert whom you would enjoy meeting. We can then arrange for you to speak to a relevant specialist at a time and date that would be convenient.

Join today

Join by card

Join by Direct Debit

Please don’t forget to sign the Gift Aid declaration to increase your contribution by 25% at no extra cost to you.

Contact us

Friends of the Bodleian