Student using Balliol Library (photo: Rob Judges)

Using the Library

This page gives a brief overview of the facilities at Balliol’s Broad Street Library. Current members can find out more by accessing the Balliol Library study resources canvas course. For information about the College’s unique collections of archives, papers, medieval manuscripts and early printed books, please go to our Historic Collections page.

Opening times

  • The Library is open 24/7 to College members except during Closed Periods.
  • Access by University card accredited by Balliol Library.
  • Visitors: by appointment only, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Disabled access

If you have a disability and feel that you would benefit from extra support in order to get the most out of the Library during your time at Balliol, Vicki Clarke, the Early Career Librarian and Library Disability Rep, would be very happy to hear from you. Currently there is only first-floor access to the Library; one way in which we can help those who are unable to access it is by dropping off books at a convenient place in the College for collection. Whatever support you need, please contact us.


  • Borrowing limit: 12 items.
  • Loan period: two weeks during term time and the whole Vacation.
  • Loans may be renewed unless reserved by another reader.
  • Fines of 20p per day charged on overdue items.

SOLO online catalogue (Search Oxford Libraries Online)

  • Can be accessed on the reading room PCs.
  • Gives location of books in Balliol, the Bodleian, and all Oxford Faculty libraries.
  • Provides access to major online resources and databases.

Renewing loans

You can renew your loans up to four times through SOLO. You may only renew items which are not yet overdue. If you would like to renew books that are overdue, please email the Library team.


Balliol students can request books for purchase by the Library. We can often get books within one or two days so let us know if a book request is urgent.

Undergraduates: You can make requests directly by speaking to a member of Library staff or by emailing the title, author and date of publication to library@​balliol.​ox.​ac.​uk. Occasionally we might seek the advice of your tutor before purchasing your recommendation.

Postgraduates: You can also make requests directly by speaking to a member of Library staff or emailing the title, author and date of publication to library@​balliol.​ox.​ac.​uk. Please remember that many department libraries also accept suggestions and may be the most appropriate place for very specialized books, but the Library does regularly buy books for postgraduates, and each request will be evaluated individually.


  • Wi-Fi can be accessed via Eduroam or OWL.
  • Readers are required to abide by the University’s rules on computer use. 

Location of books and periodicals

  • Old Library: collections on Economics, History, International Relations, Management Studies, Modern Languages, Politics and Sociology, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics
  • Reading Room: collections on Ancient History, Classics, English, Philosophy, reference works
  • Tylor Law Library: law reports, periodicals, and books on law

Library rules

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