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Radcliffe Camera to enforce ‘History Readers-Only’ time slots amid overcrowding

Oxford’s iconic Radcliffe Camera, home to the History Faculty Library, has announced “History Readers-Only” time slots after widespread complaints of overcrowding that prevents history readers from accessing their books. The rule will be enforced through an electronic system that records students tapping their Bodleian cards upon entry and exit.

On weekdays, only history readers are allowed access from 9am to midday and from 3pm to 6pm. On Saturdays, special times are designed to commemorate years of important historical events, with 12:15pm (Magna Carta) to 18:15pm (The Battle of Waterloo) reserved for history readers.

During “History Readers-Only” times, non-history ‘Bod cards’ will be automatically denied entry, and non-history students who were already in the library will be expected to tap out before the end of general-access time. Because the electronic system tracks which students are in the library, those violating the new rule will be sent automated email warnings.

An inside source told Cherwell that students will be fined £25 upon the third offence and denied entry to the Rad Cam for the rest of term upon the fifth offence.

They told Cherwell: “Despite the inconvenience, we find these ‘History Readers-Only’ times necessary after many History Faculty students and researchers complained about overcrowding. Many history books are reference-only, so readers must stay in the Rad Cam for the duration of reading these books, but are unable to do so because all desks are taken by non-history students who flock there for the ‘aesthetic.’ We hope that with this new rule, essential academic work will no longer be hindered.”

A history tutor told Cherwell that she hopes this new rule means that “fewer students will hand in their essays late with the excuse that they can’t find a Rad Cam spot to read the books [she] assigned.”

An outraged Medicine student, who studies at the Rad Cam daily, told Cherwell: “Rad Cam-ming is the whole point of an Oxford degree! This cruel exclusion is not what the great physician John Radcliffe wanted at all. What do History students even do, anyway?”

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