Commercial filming and photography

The Bodleian Libraries are a popular location for filming, and we welcome commercial film and photographic crews of all sizes to our unique historic locations, which range from medieval and later interiors to breath-taking rooftop views of Oxford.

The Filming team are experienced in working on both small- and large-scale filming projects. We invite applications for productions of feature films, television documentaries, videos and commercials. 

More information about filming in Oxford, including parking.

Photo shoots

The Library and its quadrangles are available for hire for photoshoots, subject to the constraints mentioned below.

Guide prices

Small crews (0–10): from £500 per hour + VAT
Large crews (10+): £1000 per hour + VAT

Please note that these prices vary depending on the crew number, amount of equipment, times booked and other factors. 

Filming guidelines

The Bodleian Library is a working library and there are operational constraints relating to the hire of our locations.

Location filming guidelines

  • Generally, all filming and photography must work around library opening hours. Film crews are normally only permitted to film before 8.30am and after the libraries close in the evening. For some locations a daytime slot may be available.
  • For large-scale filming, we require at least 3 months' notice. 
  • Contracts for filming will be drawn up by the Bodleian Libraries; we cannot sign one provided by the film crew.
  • All lighting must be LED.
  • Food and drink are not permitted in the library.
  • No hot works onsite.
  • There is no access to water or electricity onsite.
  • Smoke and atmosphere haze must not be used in any of the rooms or outside spaces.
  • We require final intentions, risk assessments and health & safety information at least 1 month before filming is due to take place, as these must be signed off internally.
  • We require Public Liability insurance, and details of the exact amount will be given once we know more about the scale of the filming. 

Filming items from the collections (in addition to the above)

  • We need at least 28 days’ notice for filming collection items.
  • The number and the exact items needed to be agreed by the Bodleian Libraries at least 2 weeks in advance of your filming.
  • No contract can be signed until the items have been signed off by Bodleian staff.
  • Maximum number of crew and presenters allowed on site is ten.
  • Collection items can only be viewed in our seminar rooms in the Weston Library.
  • Please bring minimal kit on site.
  • Please note if you require a Bodleian Libraries staff member to be on camera this will incur an additional fee.
  • The film company is responsible for arranging any copyright permissions in advance of filming.  
  • Small scale filming in Duke Humfrey's Library can only take place between 7.30–8.30am on weekday mornings.

Please note, the Bodleian Libraries has no jurisdiction over Radcliffe Square; contact Brasenose College for permission to film there.


For queries and bookings, contact the Filming team

  +44 (0)1865 287199

Office staffed Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm

Press and publicity filming and photography

For filming and photography related to press and publicity, contact the Communications team

Past productions

Productions that have filmed at the Bodleian Libraries include:

  • Great British Menu (2020): The University, including the Bodleian, played host to the Banquet episode of the cooking competition.
  • The Favourite (2018) Filmed in Divinity School and Convocation House during the summer of 2017. 
  • Mary Queen of Scots (2018) Filmed scenes in Divinity School and the Old Schools Quad. 
  • Endeavour (2012–18): Several episodes of the drama starring Shaun Evans featured the Bodleian Libraries.
  • A Testament of Youth (2014): An adaptation of Vera Brittain's memoir of the same title.
  • X-Men: First Class (2011): This film used one of our quadrangles as a location.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005): Duke Humfrey's Library was used as the Hogwarts library, and the Divinity School as the infirmary. 
  • The Golden Compass (2007): The Bodleian was used in the first film of Philip Pullman's trilogy 'His Dark Materials', starring Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman.
  • Lewis (2006–15): Drama starring Kevin Whately.
  • The History Boys (2006): Film adaptation of the Alan Bennett play, starring Richard Griffiths and Francis de la Tour.
  • Pocahontas: The New World (2005): Film starring Colin Farrell.
  • Inspector Morse (1987–2000): Several episodes of the drama starring John Thaw and Kevin Whately featured the Bodleian Libraries.