How your support helps

The Bodleian Libraries are the world-renowned group of research libraries of the University of Oxford, encompassing faculties, colleges and research libraries. At the heart of these is the principal University library, 'the Bodleian Library', which has been a library of legal deposit for 400 years.

An essential resource for teaching and research, the Bodleian is also known worldwide for its unique collections. These include the papers of six British prime ministers; a Gutenberg Bible; the earliest surviving book written wholly in English; a quarter of the world's original copies of the Magna Carta; and almost 10,000 Western medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. These intellectual and historical riches are not reserved only for the students and academics of the University; the Libraries' doors open to thousands of visitors, readers and researchers every year. At the Weston Library, a year-round programme of acclaimed exhibitions and cultural events provide public access to the Libraries' treasures. By digitizing and sharing collections online, the Library can offer its treasures to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

All donations help to support the Bodleian Libraries' key goals: to provide access to and care of the Bodleian Libraries' collections, and to make them accessible to a global audience through exhibitions, education and digitization activities. Bodleian donors give in many different ways, and a selection of these are outlined below:

The Old Bodleian Library in Oxford

The Bodleian Endowment Fund

Donations to the Libraries' endowment fund ensure that the core activities of the Libraries can continue for generations to come. The endowment provides the Libraries with an income year on year. Recently, donors have given funds to endow key curatorial posts in perpetuity, such as the Alfred Brendel Curator of Music.


Jumbo the childrens friend, James Richard Barfoot

Preserving and digitizing our collections

Support from individuals and organizations across the world has helped the Bodleian Libraries to conserve and digitize collections. Through these activities, fragile materials are preserved and photographed so that they can be viewed by a wide audience without damaging the originals.

Recent successful digitization projects include Shakespeare's First Folio, and Shelley's Poetical Essay pamphlet. By giving to conservation and digitization, our donors ensure that our books and manuscripts are preserved in the best possible condition for generations to come.


Group of children looking at the display

Exhibitions and outreach

We are passionate about showcasing and interpreting our fascinating collections for the public. Since the opening of the newly redeveloped Weston Library and its public galleries, the Bodleian's critically-acclaimed exhibitions have attracted more than 10,000 visitors a week.

Free public talks and events around library collections are offered weekly by academics and expert curators; see our full programme of public events for more details. We seek donors and corporate partnerships to help fund these exhibitions.


The Bodleian Libraries collection

Building our collections

It is the Bodleian's mission to collect and preserve a written legacy of our cultural and academic history; with your help, our scholars and readers can benefit from everything from cutting-edge journals to extremely rare books and manuscripts, both now and in the future.

Donations towards acquisitions enable the Bodleian to buy important texts and manuscripts and to preserve them for future generations. 


Two people look at a bookshelf in a library

Improving services

At the heart of the Bodleian are our world-class students, scholars and readers. Help us continue to improve the service that we offer.

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