SCONUL Access visitors

What is SCONUL Access

SCONUL Access is a reciprocal scheme which allows many university library users to borrow or use books and journals at other libraries which belong to the scheme. The scheme covers most of the university libraries in the UK and Ireland.

To qualify for SCONUL Access, you must be in good standing with your home library (i.e. have no outstanding fines or overdue books).

SCONUL Access for visitors to the University of Bristol Library

Important changes to library access at the University of Bristol:

As of 5 March 2018 only the Arts & Social Sciences Library and the Wills Memorial Library will be open to visitors. This is due to overriding security and safety considerations across the University estate and has been agreed with the SCONUL Access body.

To consult print items from libraries* that are no longer accessible by visitors, please use our Book Retrieval Service. The online request form outlines the procedure and conditions for this service.
[*Queen’s Building Library, Education Library, Medical Library, Physics Library, Chemistry Library, Biological Sciences library and Veterinary Sciences Library at Langford].

Reading and reference access

As a SCONUL Access visitor you can sign in by showing both your university/library ID card and a print out of your SCONUL email of authorisation, except during access restriction periods (stated above at relevant times).

Register for borrowing

As a SCONUL Access visitor (except full-time undergraduates) you can register for borrowing by emailing with:

  • a copy of your SCONUL email of authorisation
  • a completed SCONUL Access application form (Office document, 39kB)
  • a scan or digital photo of the front and back of your university/library ID card
  • a recent, colour, passport-style photograph of yourself as jpeg attachment

What happens next

  • We will issue you with a University of Bristol SCONUL borrowing card within 5 working days of receiving your documents.
  • We will email you when the card is ready to collect from our Information Desk in the Arts and Social Sciences Library.
  • We will email you your library account details.
  • Important: You can borrow or reserve books from the Arts & Social Sciences library and the Wills Memorial library. Any print items from our other libraries (whether available or out on loan) must be requested via our Book Retrieval Service

Additional information and restrictions

  • You have access to the Arts & Social Sciences Library and the Wills Memorial Library.
  • You can borrow up to 5 items at a time from any of our libraries: directly from the Arts & Social Sciences or Wills Memorial Library, or via the Book Retrieval Service.
  • You will not have access to University of Bristol computers and electronic resources.
  • Free WiFi is available:
  • We have access restrictions during our revision and assessment periods in January and April/May. Please check the top of this page, exact dates will be displayed at relevant times.

Using other university libraries

University of Bristol staff and students can access the libraries of over 170 UK and Ireland universities. Register online for SCONUL Access.

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