Oxford’s online catalogue, SOLO, was closed unexpectedly on Thursday “for maintenance reasons”.
Students were not warned in advance of any maintenance, and reports suggest that the system has been experiencing unexpected issues.
The failure of the universities’ online system has come at a particularly bad moment for finalists, many of whom are still in the middle of their revision and require access to both online journals and physical books.
A spokesperson for the Bodleian Libraries told Cherwell: “We are aware that network issues are currently causing problems with SOLO. These problems have occurred since mid-day Thursday 30 May although the symptoms were, initially, intermittent and varied from PC to PC.
“Our team at the Bodleian are still investigating and trying to rectify the problem, working with our software suppliers. We hope to have these issues resolved as soon as possible.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to both staff and readers.”
This is not the first time that Oxford online search engine has failed; in Michaelmas the system crashed for a number of hours, while similar problems were also experienced in February 2011.
SOLO’s problems have not affected the rest of the university’s websites, which were fully functioning throughout the day.