Website accessibility statement

The Bodleian Libraries runs a number of websites (‘our websites’). We would like as many people as possible to be able to use them.  

This accessibility statement specifically covers www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk, its child websites, its subdomains and other websites managed by the Bodleian Libraries. 

On our websites, you should be able to do things like: 

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts 
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen 
  • navigate most of our websites using speech recognition software 
  • listen to most of our websites using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver) 

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.  

In addition, major operating systems produce the following guidance:

How accessible are our websites? 

We are working to improve the accessibility and usability of our websites. However, we know that some parts are not yet fully accessible: 

In particular, we know that you may encounter: 

  • PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software 
  • older videos that don’t have captions 
  • difficulties navigating some of our websites and online forms using just a keyboard 
  • you cannot skip to the main content when using a screen reader 
  • the text will not reflow in a single column when you change the size of the browser window 
  •  you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text. 

We are working to address areas where our accessibility needs improvement. Please see 'Technical information' below and our known issues page for more details. 

Reporting accessibility problems with our websites 

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website.  

Please email communications@bodleian.ox.ac.uk if you: 

  • cannot access the information that you need and would like to request it in an alternative format 
  • find and problems not listed on this webpage or within our known issues 
  • think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements. 

We will respond to enquiries in no more than 10 working days but hope to do so faster than that in most cases. 

Enforcement procedure 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS). 

Technical information about our website’s accessibility 

The University of Oxford is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. As part of this commitment, we are required to publish known issues with our websites

The websites we cover are partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed on our known issues page. 

What we’re doing to improve accessibility 

The Bodleian Libraries runs many websites that were developed at different times using different technologies. 

We are committed to providing websites that are accessible to all and we are working hard to achieve that, but it will take some time due to the scale and complexity of the task. 

In addition to our plan to fix known issues, we continue to work on website content and structure. We are also updating the ways in which we provide training and best practice to those working on our website. 

How we tested our websites 

We tested out websites using the following methodologies: 

  • Sample page checks of carefully chosen pages and content types using a quality assurance tool; 
  • Manual user testing in some cases

We will continue to review the websites on a monthly basis to check new content. 

Page last updated: 23 September 2020

These websites are built on the Mosaic platform, which has its own technical accessibility statement.

In addition:

  • Image maps are not always accompanied with a text alternative. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non- text Content).
  • There are skipped heading levels throughout the website. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships).
  • Some of our documents don’t meet accessibility standards – for example, they may not be marked up so that they’re accessible to a screen reader.

SOLO is built on a third-party product called Primo.

Primo accessibility statement.

  • Not all content can be navigated by keyboard, including forms. It is also not possible to always navigate from expanded images. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard).
  • Some of our search inputs and forms aren’t labelled appropriately. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.3.2 (Labels or Instructions).
  • There are skipped heading levels throughout our blogs. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships).
  • Some link text doesn’t make sense when read on its own (for example, ‘click here’). This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context).
  • Some link text on the page is repeated but links to different destinations. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context).
  • Some text is in a very small font;
  • There are colour contrast issues with some of the text found across the blogs. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum).
  • Some images are missing alt tags or have alt tags which are not meaningful. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text Content).
  • Not all video has captions, text or audio description. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text Content). 
  • Videos and other iframe elements don’t contain a title. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value). 
  • Some of our links to PDFs and other documents are not clearly signposted in links. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context).
  • Many of our documents don’t meet accessibility standards – for example, they may not be marked up so that they’re accessible to a screen reader.
  • Some ARIA labels have been used incorrectly, making it hard for accessibility tools to navigate the website.
  • Some link text doesn’t make sense when read on its own (for example, ‘click here’);
  • There are redundant links throughout the site;
  • Some tables do not have table row or column headers;
  • Some images are missing alt tags or have alt tags which are not meaningful;
  • Videos and other iframe elements don’t contain a title.
  • Many of our documents don’t meet accessibility standards – for example, they may not be marked up so that they’re accessible to a screen reader;
  • Some of our links to PDFs and other documents are not clearly signposted in links.
  • Not all content – such as the Gift Aid form – can be navigated by keyboard;
  • Some of our forms and input buttons aren’t labelled appropriately;
  • There is some inappropriate use of ARIA labels, making it hard for accessibility tools to navigate the website.
  • Not all content can be navigated by keyboard, such as the collection navigation trees;
  • Focus states are always clear when using a keyboard to move through site, such as the collection navigation trees;
  • Some of our search inputs and forms aren’t labelled appropriately;
  • Some ARIA labels have been used incorrectly, making it hard for accessibility tools to navigate the website;
  • If styling is removed, not all content is displayed in a logical manner.
  • There are colour contrast issues with some of the text found across the websites.
  • Some information has just been presented graphically with no alternative, in particular the list of items included in the database on the homepage.

This covers a suite of websites built on the same technology platform:

The issues are:

  • Some of our search inputs and forms aren’t labelled appropriately;
  • Some ARIA labels have been used incorrectly, making it hard for accessibility tools to navigate the website;
  • The language of the websites is not defined. 
  • Not all components have ARIA labels, making it hard for accessibility tools to navigate the website;
  • Some of our form fields aren’t labelled correctly.
  • Not all text has sufficient contrast against the background colour.
  • Some pages contain HTML validation errors effecting the robustness of the website.
  • Some issues with text display at different resolutions and orientations on some portable devices – such as overlap of text when reading horizontally on a tablet;
  • The footer text is in a very small font, which makes it hard to read.
  • Some information has been presented graphically or as an image with no alternative text, in particular content included on the statistics pages.
  • Many of the documents available from the website don’t meet accessibility standards – for example, they may not be marked up so that they’re accessible to a screen reader.

In 2024–25 we will continue to improve accessibility by doing the following:

  • Fix HTML validation errors
  • Improve responsive text display to avoid overlap
  • Come up with a solution for the small font in the footer text
  • Improve alternative text for the images on the statistics page
  • Continue to explore accessible PDF for meeting 10.4 requirements
  • There are minor issues with navigability of two elements on the New Request and My Basket pages. These do not prevent the user from entering the required information.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services.

Feedback and contact information

Staff and students affiliated with the University of Oxford, you can use our SensusAccess service to convert webpages and files into alternative accessible formats.

If you have any further questions about content or wish to discuss provision of an alternative format, please email communications@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Reporting accessibility problems with our websites 

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that are not listed on this page or you think we’re not meeting the accessibility requirements please email communications@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

We will respond to enquiries in no more than 10 working days but hope to do so faster than that in most cases. 

Enforcement procedure 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS). 

What we’re doing to improve accessibility 

The Bodleian Libraries runs many websites that were developed at different times using different technologies. 

We are committed to providing websites that are accessible to all and we are working hard to achieve that, but it will take some time due to the scale and complexity of the task. 

In addition to our plan to fix known issues, we continue to work on website content and structure. We are also updating the ways in which we provide training and best practice to those working on our website. 

How we tested our websites 

We tested out websites using the following methodologies: 

  • Sample page checks of carefully chosen pages and content types using a quality assurance tool; 
  • Manual user testing in some cases

We will continue to review the websites on an annual basis. 

New websites are accessibility checked before they are launched.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 23 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 13 June 2024.

Websites not yet tested

  • Bodleian Shop (bodleianshop.co.uk)
  • The Apocalypse in Oxford (apocalypse.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Bod-Inc Online (incunables.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Ballads Opera Online (www.odl.ox.ac.uk/balladoperas)
  • The Bodleian First Folio (firstfolio.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • British Book Trade Index (bbti.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Broadside Ballads Project (ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Databank (databank.ora.ox.ac.uk)
  • The Dicey and Marshall Catalogue (diceyandmarshall.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Digital Mushaf (digitalmushaf.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Digital Manuscripts Toolkit (dmt.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Digital Miscellanies Index (dmi.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Digital Preservation at Oxford and Cambridge (digitalpreservation.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Early modern letters online (emlo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • The Italian Opera Aria on the London Stage 1705-1801 (italianaria.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • London Book Trades (lbt.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Manuscripts from German-Speaking Lands (hab.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/en/)
  • The Manual of Armenian Codicology and Palaeography (armenianpalaeography.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Medieval Libraries of Great Britain (mlgb3.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Medieval Paternoster Wheels (medievalpaternosterwheels.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/)
  • Oxford World War 1 Centenary Programme (ww1centenary.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/)
  • Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project (bav.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/)
  • Queen Victoria's journals (qvj.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Rolling History (rollinghistory.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/)
  • Serica (serica.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/)
  • Shelly's Poetical Essay (poeticalessay.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/)
  • Simon Peter in Scripture and Memory (simonpeter.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/)
  • TEXT-Inc (textinc.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/)
  • Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth (tolkein.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Treasures of the Bodleian Libraries (treasures.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Verse Miscellanies Online - Printed Poetry Collections of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (versemiscellaniesonline.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/)
  • The Wandering Jew's Chronicle (wjc.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/)
  • The William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonné (talbot.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)