Covid-19 Restrictions to SCONUL Access & Visitor access at the University of Bristol Library

There will be no access to the library for SCONUL Access users and for visitors from Wednesday 18 March 2020 until further notice.

  • SCONUL Access users will not be able to sign in or register, regardless of their SCONUL Access band. Note that SCONUL Access users who already have a UoB library card will not be affected.

  • The Visitor Scheme will not be in operation from Wednesday 18 March 2020.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused but hope you appreciate that restrictions must be put in place at this difficult time.

Only the Arts & Social Sciences library and the Wills Memorial library are open to visitors. This is due to overriding security and safety considerations across the University estate.

Visitor access

The University of Bristol welcomes visitors and two of its libraries are open to external researchers and visitors who have a genuine need to use materials not available elsewhere:

-        The Arts & Social Sciences Library in Tyndall Avenue
         during staffed hours: 8am until 8pm (during term-time and vacation)

-        The Wills Memorial Library in Queens Road
         (please report to the Estates Assistants' office in the entrance)

You can either use the visitor scheme for day visits, or see if you are eligible to join as an external user.

Book Retrieval Service: visitors and registered users can consult, borrow or reserve items from libraries* that are no longer accessible. 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].

Before your visit

Please use Library Search to check which print material we hold (only printed material is available to visitors).

External visitors may only gain admittance to two libraries: the Arts & Social Sciences library and the Wills Memorial library.

Library-managed study centres are only available to current students and staff of the University; this includes the Arts & Social Sciences library between the hours of 8pm and 8am all year round.

Unfortunately, use of University computers and electronic materials is not available for visitors.

Please see our list of‌ freely available research resources (PDF, 125kB) as an alternative.

Visitor scheme for day visits

Visitors can apply for a one-day pass, free of charge. Passes are given on a first-come first-served basis. Numbers are limited (except during July and August) and you can't reserve a pass in advance.

The scheme operates all year, except during these periods:

  • 30 September - 11 October 2019: First two weeks of Teaching Block 1.
  • 2 - 24 January 2020: January revision and assessment period.
  • April - June 2020: Summer revision and assessment period.
    • Dates to be confirmed, please check this page nearer the time.

You must be aged 16 or over to use the visitor scheme. Visitors may not bring children to the libraries.

How to register for a day pass

You must register for a day pass when you visit. Passes are then valid for that day and when libraries are staffed:

-         Arts & Social Sciences Library: 8am - 8pm (the library opens as a study centre outside of these hours, reserved for UoB students)

-        Wills Memorial Library: staffed throughout its opening hours

Where and when to register for a day pass
LibraryAccessNumber of placesWhen to register
Arts and Social Sciences Library Arts & Social Sciences Library and Wills Memorial Library 35 per day Monday to Friday,  8 am to 6 pm
Saturday and Sunday, 8 am to 5 pm
Wills Memorial Library Wills Memorial Library only 15 per day

Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm

Please bring the following identification:

  • Photo identification, eg passport, identification card, driving licence, etc, or;
  • Identification with an address, eg recent bank statement, utility bill, council tax bill, etc.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), A-level and IB students

EPQ, A-level and IB students in local schools aged 16 and over are welcome to use the visitor scheme to consult our print material. 

If you do not have photo identification with your date of birth, you will need a letter of introduction from your school, on headed paper, stating your:

  • full name
  • level of study
  • date of birth

Please also see our school support page.

Join as an external user

The following external users can become members of the library:
(note that conditions of use and entry are the same as for general visitors, as above)

Eligibility for joining as an external user
User groupMembership fees and detailsRegistration restrictions
University of Bristol graduates Free visitor card. Borrower card £60 per year, up to 20 loans Have a reasonably local address.
Retired, former staff Free borrower card, up to 20 loans, renewable yearly You must have worked at the University for at least 10 continuous years. You must be of retirement age and no longer in work.
Members of local societies

Borrower card £10 per year, up to 5 loans

The following societies are eligible: Bristol Law Society, Bristol Society of Architects, Bristol Medico Chirurgical Society.
Staff and students from other UK and Ireland universities See information for SCONUL Access visitors

Universities must be part of the SCONUL Access scheme.

Access restrictions during revision and assessment periods.

If none of these categories apply to you, please use the Visitor Scheme.
You are welcome to email us on with details of your needs. 

How to join as external user

Registration requests are subject to status check/proof of eligibility. Registrations are processed within five working days from receipt of payment and/or status proof. 

Registered users like all visitors can only access the Arts & Social Sciences Library and the Wills Memorial Library. Conditions of use and entry are the same as for any other visitors, see above.

Note that the use of University computers and electronic materials is not available for registered users.

To enquire about joining or to renew your registration, complete form here or email


For visitor and membership queries, please email

Free WiFi

Visitors can use free WiFi.

Visitors with disabilities

Please let us know about any access requirements before your visit by emailing D/deaf and hard of hearing visitors can borrow Deaf Alert Pagers.

Visitor security

University Security Services operate identification checks on all University premises; you will need to show your pass when requested by a member of staff.

Library regulations

Permission to visit or join the library is granted subject to the approval of the Director of Library Services and subject to the conditions set out in the Regulations on Use of Library Services and Facilities (PDF, 110kB).

Data protection: 

University of Bristol - Data Protection Statement (GDPR) (PDF, 26kB)

The University buildings remain private premises and we reserve the right to deny access where deemed appropriate

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