Borrowing, can't find a book, reference collections, suggestions for purchase and Oxford library resources.

Borrowing Books

You can borrow a book from Wadham Library for 2 weeks, and you can then renew it a further 5 times.

How to borrow a book:

  • Tap login on the screen on the self-issue computer at the library counter
  • Place your university card under the red beam, as shown on the screen, so that it can read the barcode
  • Place each book you want to borrow on the 'Place items here' area on the counter
  • Each book will be automatically recognised and issued to you
  • Make sure each book you borrow registers on the screen on a green line
  • [If the book appears on the screen on a red line, it has not been issued to you - please don't take the book out of the library, but email us about it, and we can sort out the problem for you
  • You may choose to print a receipt before logging out
  • Make sure you tap 'logout' on the screen

How to renew a book / Checking your reader record:

  • Go to
  • At the top right of the screen click on 'Sign in' and sign in using your Single Sign On password (i.e. your 'wadh.xxxx' username and password
  • Click on 'My Account' at the top right
  • Your borrower record will be displayed, showing due date/s of the item/s you have out on loan
  • Put a tick in the box next to any books you want to renew, and click on 'Renew selected' / 'Renew all'
  • Remember to click on 'Sign out'

How to return a book:

Books you are returning should be placed (gently!) in the drop box for staff to check back into the Library.

*Please do not return books from other libraries to Wadham Library - it is very difficult for us to send them back since the University messenger post does not accept books. Books from other libraries left with us are likely to incur fines at the originating library, and may even lead to your being billed for the cost of replacing the book.*

A few points to remember:

Please note that all journals and some labelled books including most reference books are confined to the Library and may not be borrowed.

  • Confined books usually have a white stripe around the cover. These cannot be borrowed.
  • Discussion Room books have a red or yellow stripe around the outside. They may be borrowed on application to the staff.

Should the computer fail please record each book you borrow on the clipboard next to the computer, being sure to enter the barcode of the book from the inside of the front cover, the title and your name.

The system will generate notices reminding you of the date when your books will be due. If for any reason you miss the date please contact Library staff by email as soon as possible.

Once an item has been renewed a maximum of five times you will need to contact staff if you should want to continue borrowing it. You may place a reservation online for a book that someone else has on loan.


If you can't actually find the book...

... here are the possible explanations (and what to do about it)

  • it could be out on loan (so check the catalogue to see if someone else has borrowed it) 
  • it could be on a desk being used in the library, without the reader having actually borrowed it (if you let us know, one of us will try to locate it) 
  • it could be on a re-shelving trolley, so do check the trolleys. The re-shelving trolleys should contain only books from the floor that they are on, and also only books from the particular side of the floor that they are on i.e. the trolley on the middle floor should only have books from the middle floor 
  • it could be slightly out of place on the shelf (it's worth checking the shelves near to where it should be) 
  • it could be missing (in which case, if the tutor approves, we will buy another copy - but you will need to ask us to) 
  • it could be that we never had a copy. If this is the case, there would of course be no holding showing in SOLO for Wadham College Library. (If you ask us to - and we hope you will! - we will buy a copy, subject to the tutor's approval)

Reference-only material

The library contains a significant number of reference resources. These include periodicals, dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, etc. Reference material cannot be taken out of the library. Reference items are marked by a white stripe across the front of the book. The only exception is the library's collection of periodicals which are not marked with the white stripe, but which are nevertheless reference-only.


Print Journals

• Journals are reference-only and cannot be borrowed

• The current issue of each of our journals is displayed in the 'Readers' Area' next to the library counter, except for the law journals where the current issue is displayed in the open carrel on the upper floor of the library, next to the Law Section

• The back runs of the journals are stored on the open shelves in the relevant subject area

• You can access the full content of thousands of journals online at (opens in a new window)

A list of the print journals that we currently take:

Annual of the British School at Athens
Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics
Annual Review of Immunology
Annual Review of Physiology
Annual Review of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology
Anthropology Today
Art Quarterly
Astronomy & Geophysics
Cambridge Law Journal
Classical Quarterly
Classical Review
Economic Policy
English Historical Review
European Competition Law Review
French Studies
Historical Journal
Historical Research
International Affairs
Journal of Contemporary History
Journal of Modern History
Journal of Philosophy
Journal of Roman Studies
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (previously Man)
Modern Language Review
Modern Law Review
National Institute Economic Review
New Scientist
Oxford Today
Papers of the British School at Rome
Philosophical Quarterly
Philosophical Review
Physics Today
Physiological Reviews
Publications of the Modern Language Association of America
Renditions: a Chinese-English Translations Magazine
Revue d'Histoire Litteraire de la France
Scientific American
Social Text
Transactions of the Royal Historical Society
World Politics

Antiquarian Collections

Wadham library houses a fine collection of older books and manuscripts, acquired, largely through donation, over the course of its history.

Online Exhibition
The collections are organised by donor and subject. They are accessible via a card catalogue and partly, in an ongoing project, through SOLO. There are beautiful manuscripts, and also British and European printed books of the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries, covering a wide range of subject matter from literature to theology and the sciences.

Donations have come in many sizes from ones and twos, to thousands, and from many sources. These range from Philip Bisse, who knew the Wadhams and gave his library on the foundation of the College, to Fellows and students of the College, while they were here or later, and still others, unconnected with the College, who gave material which would tie in with other collections already here. So, for example, our collection of Spanish theological works attracted the donation in 1867 of the much studied Wiffen papers on Protestantism in Spain.

Suggesting books for purchase

We actively encourage library readers to suggest books for the library to buy. 

We are aiming to provide the best service in terms of availability of reading list material. So please do ask us if you would like us to consider buying something. If the book you suggest has a particularly narrow focus, and would be unlikely to see much wider use, we may check with the tutor since material of that nature is usually provided by faculty libraries.
You can suggest books for the library to buy by:
• contacting us in person
• emailing us at
• telephoning us on (01865) 277914
Please give us as many details of the book as possible, particularly information regarding the edition you are interested in.

Tt's also useful if you can let us know how quickly you need the book.

Wider library resources in Oxford

Oxford is extremely rich in library resources. You can read about the libraries in Oxford (of which there are over a hundred) by going to the Oxford libraries homepage. Among other things, this lets you know which libraries you can have access to. There are also guides to resources available in each subject, produced by the Bodleian libraries.

Download an 'Oxford libraries' app for your smart phone.

Click here to read the quick start instructions (opens in a new window)