The Radcliffe Camera (Latin for Radcliffe Room) was built in 1737–1749 to house the Radcliffe Science Library, which is now part of the Bodleian Library. It is a striking building in the neo-classical style that is one of Oxford’s most well-known landmarks.
What to see at the Radcliffe Camera
Access to the Radcliffe Camera is reserved for Oxford students and people with a Bodleian Libraries reader’s card so most people simply walk past The Camera, take a photo and move on.
However, there is one way to see inside. You can see inside the Radcliffe Camera by taking the 90-minute guided tour of the Bodleian Library, which also includes the Radcliffe Camera; however, this tour only operates four times a week.
The Rad is home to two reading rooms and an underground library with over half a million books. The Radcliffe Camera is linked to the rest of the Bodleian Library complex via an underground passageway and library that is known as the Gladstone Link.
Both the Gladstone Link and the interior of the Radcliffe Camera are covered on the 90-minute tour itinerary.
Visiting the Radcliffe Camera
The Radcliffe Camera is on Catte Street immediately south of the main Bodleian Library complex.
If you want to see inside you need to book yourself into the 90-minute tour of the Bodleian Library which also shows you the main sights inside the Bodleian Library and the underground Gladstone Link which runs between the two library buildings.
This tour costs £15 and only runs four times per week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9.15am and on Sundays at 11.15am and 1.15pm. You can book tours online up to two weeks in advance or try your luck for a ticket on the day at the Great Gate ticket office inside the older Bodleian Library building that is to the north of the Camera.
The tour involves stairs which means that there is no wheelchair access. Children aged under 11 are not admitted on this tour.