Festival hub

Festival cultural partner

The Weston Library’s Blackwell Hall is to be turned into a festival hub for this year’s Oxford Literary Festival. It's the place to buy your tickets, read your new books, enjoy a coffee and explore all that's happening over the week. Activities on offer include:

  • tours of the critically-acclaimed exhibition Chaucer Here and Now
  • talks about the magnificent Sheldon Tapestry Map of Oxfordshire
  • a chance to get up close with the Bodleian’s wonderful maps collections and hear how specialists look after them
  • wellbeing and creative activities, perfect for a short break
  • a blind date with a book. Bring a book you recommend, wrap it up and write a brief description. then exchange it for one that intrigues you. Takes place in Blackwell Hall throughout the festival
  • the Toddleian Library, a space for very young readers and their carers

Blackwell Hall, on Broad Street opposite the Sheldonian Theatre, is the main visitor hall of the Weston Library, part of Bodleian Libraries.

Oxford Literary Festival ticket holders can get 10% off in store at the Bodleian Libraries gift shops. Show your ticket to claim your discount. (Exclusions apply, not to be used in conjunction with any other offers. Ask in store for details.)

Blackwell Hall opening hours

These are the opening hours of the Benugo Café, festival hub and Bodleian exhibitions during the Oxford Literary Festival. 

Saturday 16 March 9am-6pm

Sunday 17 March 9am-4pm

Monday 18 March to Saturday 23 March 9am-6pm

Sunday 24 March 9am-4pm

Free talks

The following free talks take place in Blackwell Hall itself unless otherwise stated.

Emma Smith. Monday 18 March, 1.30pm / Blackwell Hall

Join author and professor of Shakespeare Studies Emma Smith to see the copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio held by the Bodleian.

Nichole Fazio. Saturday 23 March, 1pm / Blackwell Hall: Horton Room

Join Nichole J Fazio, author of Julia Margaret Cameron: The Poetry of Photography, for an informal talk about the artist as she explores a selection of Julia Margaret Cameron’s photographs brought up from the Bodleian collections. Note: ticket required.

Yuval Zommer. Saturday 23 March, 2pm / Blackwell Hall

Join children’s author and illustrator Yuval Zommer for an interactive and creative journey through his latest book The Wild, a modern fable with a hopeful and powerful message. Age 4+

Free tours

Chaucer Here and Now exhibition tours are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 2pm-2.45pm and are open to all. These free gallery tours are led by our dedicated volunteer team. Places are limited and booking is required.

Maps Show and Tell

Discover treasures from the Bodleian’s map collection with our experts. Places are limited and booking is required. Daily Monday to Friday during the festival 11.10am-11.50am.

Tapestry Talks

Free talks about the Sheldon Tapestry Map, 1pm-1.30pm, Saturday 16 March and then daily, Tuesday 19 March-Saturday 23 March. No need to book, just drop in.

Meet the Conservation Team

Thursday 21 March, 12.30pm-2pm Join the Bodleian’s conservation team to find out more about their work caring for our fantastic collections. No need to book, just drop in.

Print a keepsake

Print a memento of the Oxford Literary Festival.

Friday 22 March 1 – 3pm

Sunday 25 March 1 – 3pm

Throughout the festival

Creative activities

Relax with our creative activities, perfect for a short break.

Book exchange

Dare you have a blind date with a book? Bring a book you recommend, wrap it up and write a brief description. Then exchange it for one that intrigues you.

Festival box office

The festival box office will be situated opposite you as you enter Blackwell Hall. Note: a booking fee of £2 will be added to all sales at the festival onsite box office. Tickets can also be purchased online or by telephone on 0333 666 3366 right up until the last minute before an event.

Box office opening hours:

Mon-Tues 11am-12pm and 1pm-5pm

Weds-Sat 9.30am-12pm and 1pm-5pm

Sun 9.30am-12pm and 1pm-4pm

Café and toilets

The Weston Library café serves a delicious selection of hot and cold drinks, freshly-made soups, salads, sandwiches, cakes and pastries. Toilets are situated next to the café.

The Oxford Literary Festival sponsors, donors & partners

The Telegraph Festival media partner University of Oxford Netflix European Union Supported by the Delegation of the European Union to the UK Cultural Relations Platform Supporter of the festival's Voices of Europe programme BBC World Service International radio partner Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine and annual science and innovation award Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Oxford Mathematics Spanish Embassy The Spanish Embassy: supporters of the programme of Spanish literature and culture Cervantes Institute, London The Cervantes Institute, London Italian Embassy The Italian Embassy: supporter of the programme of Italian literature and culture The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner International Literary Properties Festival literary heritage partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels Festival hotel Old Bank Hotel Five-star hotel partners of The Oxford Collection Old Parsonage Hotel Five-star hotel partners of The Oxford Collection Jim Mellon John Roberts Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture Tim and Marion Stevenson Martin and Elise Becket Smith Miles Young Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Carole and John Allen David Isaac Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Anna Hunter Rhys and Kerry Phillip Exeter College Exeter College: college home of the festival. Founded 1314 New College New College founded 1379 Worcester College Worcester College founded 1714 Lincoln College Lincoln College founded 1427 St Cross College St Cross College founded 1965 Trinity College Trinity College founded 1555 Magdalen College Magdalen College founded 1458 Critchleys Accountants to the festival Pasture to Plate Compassion in World Farming Human Ecology Project MACROVegan Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner. Celebrating 25 years in Europe in 2024 European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Sponsor of the EBRD Literature Prize since 2018 ROOMS Georgia's leading lifestyle hotel brand since 2012. Supporters of the programme of Georgian literature and culture Jewish Book Week Partner of Oxford Literary Festival Foodbuy Thje Menu Partners Institute of Hospitality Goldmoney Properties Project People Oxford Brookes University Oxford International Centre for Publishing Confucius Institute Pusey House British Academy Festival academic partner Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies Oxford United Football Club Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design Paul Bloomfield Ltd University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Conference Oxford Felicity Bryan Associates CAV Oxford The Sheldonian Theatre Oxford University Images Oxford University Images Oxford University Department for Continuing Education Oxford Georgian Translation Project Supporter of the programme of Georgian literature and culture Force4Good Consultancy Corporate communications OX magazine Ox in a Box K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography The Litmus Partnership Schoolreaders Windrush Group James Currey Society