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Cambridge LibGuides

Cambridge colleges library and archive exhibitions and events: Events and temporary exhibitions

What's on in Cambridge college libraries and archives

This guide features regular and temporary exhibitions in Cambridge colleges and will be updated as new exhibitions and events are announced.

Find more information on the colleges with libraries that are regularly open to the public: Christ's, Corpus Christi, Magdalene, St John's, and Trinity.

You can also find our more about college libraries and archives that are hosting events and temporary exhibitions.

Queens' College


Not a Day Without a Line: Past lives of Renaissance books in Queens’ Library

This exhibition features unique discoveries made during the Library's two-year ‘Renaissance Queens’’ cataloguing and digitisation project, that provide fascinating insights into how and why Queens’ books were read in the Renaissance period, and the people who read them. Cryptic signs, messages, and poems (including a mischievous nun/friar poem scrawled onto a magnificent 15th-century bible), prayers, as well as mnemonic diagrams and hand-coloured decorations all record in unique ways the lives of early modern readers and the relationships they formed with the books they used (and misused).

 01223 335550

 Free exhibition

  1st - 29th March 2018
        1.30 - 4.30pm (open late until 7.30pm on Thursday 15 March), weekdays only

No booking required.
       Access through the Visitors’ Gate and the War Memorial Library.
       If Visitors’ Gate closed, please use Porter’s Lodge.
       The library is situated on the first floor of an historic building.
       Regrettably, due to the age of the building, there is no lift access to the library.

St John's College Archive Centre


Gift Aid: a history of giving at St John’s College

This exhibition at St John's College Archive Centre offers a fascinating insight into into two projects the college was involved with: the Bread and Broth Charity and the College Mission. It displays college photographs and correspondence from the early 20th century, a poverty map of London from the late 1800s, programmes and posters for fundraising events, and a soup recipe that feeds 50 people.'s-college

 01223 338631


Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10.00am-4.00 pm, between 16th January and 22nd February 2018.  At other times by appointment, please contact the Archivist using the details above.

Please ask at the Porters' Lodge for directions to the College Archive Centre, where the exhibition is taking place.

St John's College Library


Douglas Adams: Life in the Universe

This exhibition, celebrating the cataloguing of Adams’s papers and artefacts in the beautiful surroundings of his college’s Old Library, follows his life and career from Brentwood School to Hollywood, from a bachelor’s degree to Doctor Who, from aye-ayes to IT, and, of course, from hitchhiking in Europe to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

 01223 339393


Saturday 24th March, 11.00-17.00

No booking required.
       Entrance to the Old Library is via E Staircase, Second Court.
       Not accessible to wheelchairs.

Contact details

For further details about the exhibitions and events listed above, please use the contact details provided for each college. For more general information about the college libraries in Cambridge, see the Cambridge College Libraries guide.

If you are a Cambridge college library or archive and would like to have your event featured in this guide, please contact Catherine Sutherland or Sonya Adams.