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Subject Guides

Theology and Religious Studies: Theology and Religious Studies Collections

Below you will find information on the theology and religious study collections in Cambridge, their collection strength, their collection development approach and who can have access to these collections. This section will be expanded shortly.

Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide library

Description of collection

The Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide is a rich library of books, journals and archives on the subject of Christianity in the non-western world. It serves a wide range of disciplines, including history, theology, anthropology and the social sciences. Its key strengths are non-western theology and church history, and the history of the missionary, ecumenical, and evangelical movements. The library subscribes to a wide variety of journals, including those published in the non-western world. The archive contains papers of missionaries and church leaders who have served in a diverse array of locations around the world.

What material is being bought?

Library acquisition is mainly focused on academic research and studies in the area of non-western Christian theology and history. Book recommendations are welcome and will be reviewed by the Librarian, Ruth MacLean.


Current members of the University of Cambridge and Cambridge Theological Federation may use the library during regular opening hours. There are study carrels for readers who wish to work in the library. Please register the first time you visit. You may borrow ten books for two weeks, using your University library card. This allowance is shared with other libraries of the Cambridge Theological Federation. External researchers and the general public may use the library for reference only, any time of year. If you wish to borrow books, you may purchase a CCCW library card for £12/term or £36/year. ID is required at registration of non-University members. For a further fee, the CCCW provides a research base in Cambridge, out-of-hours access to the library, and a connection to the Cambridge Theological Federation for external researchers from other institutions. Those intending to consult the archive collections should contact the Archivist, Philip Saunders, well in advance of arrival. Fees and rules apply to use of the archive collections, including digital photographing, scanning and copying.

Cambridge Theological Federation, Westminster College Library

Description of collection:

The collections of the Cambridge Theological Federation comprise the holdings of each of its constituent institutions, spread across numerous sites and including more than 100,000 volumes. The member institutions are the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies; the Margaret Beaufort Institute; Ridley Hall; Wesley House; Westcott House; and Westminster College (pictured). The Woolf Institute and the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide are associate members.

What material is being bought?

Each of the libraries has a substantial core collection, enhanced in each case by specialist collections reflecting the denominational basis and research and teaching strengths of the institution. The Federation acquires a substantial amount of new stock each year and also continues to strengthen its provision of e-resources. All of the catalogued collections may be searched using the University’s iDiscover portal.


All members of the Federation may use the libraries for reading and for borrowing. Members of the Divinity Faculty of the University may also apply for borrowing rights using their University Card, as may other members of the University by application to the Librarian. External members are welcome to use the libraries for reference purposes for a small fee. More information can be found on the Federation’s library pages.

Divinity Faculty Library (University of Cambridge, UK)

Description of collection:

The Divinity Faculty Library covers a wide range of subjects including history, theology and scriptures of most major world faiths, as well as philosophy of religion, science and religion, sociology and anthropology. There is a particular strength in Biblical studies, Patristics and ecclesiastical history, reflecting the historical foundations of the collection.

What material is being bought?

The Library purchases books in all these subjects, led by the teaching and research priorities of the UTOs and the students. Relevant eresources and ebooks are also made available, were possible.


Any current member of the University of Cambridge may use the Divinity Library whenever the library is open. Following the rules, they can borrow, using their University Card. External researchers might be able to use our Library for reference only, outside full term only. Please check for full term dates, to avoid coming during these times.

The Woolf Institute Library (Cambridge, UK)

Description of collection:

Tyndale House Library holds one of the world's most outstanding reference collections of academic biblical studies books and journals. By specialising strictly on the biblical text, interpretation, languages, and historical background, it is able to hold virtually all the important academic titles within these disciplines, without growing too large. The catalogue links to online copies where available.

What is being bought?

The Library focuses primarily on academic monographs in biblical exegesis but also collects in the areas of Judaism and Jewish literature, biblical languages and the history of the ancient Near East.


Please note our entire collection is reference-only.

Current undergraduates and teaching officers of Cambridge University may access the Library free of charge. Please contact us to check desk availability at

Biblical researchers from other institutions may apply to use the Library. There is a small charge. Please apply in advance at

The Woolf Institute Library (Cambridge, UK)

Description of collection:

The Woolf Institute Library's holdings form a discrete, highly specialised collection, a significant part of which explore aspects of Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations. Increasingly, the Library's collections are expanding to reflect the more specialist foci of its research community. Material includes key reference works on theology/religion, historical background, Jewish, Christian and Muslim philosophical texts, core texts on aspects of Middle Eastern history, socio-political titles, the Arts and current studies allied to the interests of the Institute's academic and research community.


Any current member of the Cambridge Theological Federation and the University of Cambridge may use the Woolf Institute Library during opening hours (Monday-Friday from 09:00-17:00). Following the rules, they can borrow books using their CTF or University Card.

External Access

Members of the Cambridge Muslim College enjoy year round reading rights and external researchers are welcome to use our Library for reference only provided they write in advance of their first visit to the Subject Librarian ( or Further information is available online at:

Collections Showcase

DivLib: Standard works within TRS

Fathers of The Church series, Divinity Library

DivLib: New books get prominently displayed

New Books shelf at Divinity Library

DivLib: Modern, interdisciplinary books

Section 19, Anthropology and religion"

DivLib: Strong holdings on some philosophers

Some books by Kierkegaard

DivLib: Bibles in various languages

Also, in less common languages (e.g. Esperanto)

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Electronic resources

A detailed listing of electronic resources and databases useful for Theology and Religious studies students and researchers can be found at the eresources@cambridge page.

There is an A-Z list of the extensive ejournal collection at the ejournals@cambridge page.

Ejournals - as well as ebooks - can also be found through iDiscover.