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Cambridge LibGuides

Selwyn College Library: Easter Term virtual library

Hello! We can't give you (real) jigsaws or Tea at 3 this year, but we can bring together some academic information with ideas for taking a break. This guide will change and grow as required throughout the term. If you have an idea for something we could add, let us know

Finding the books and articles you need

You can contact the library for help with getting hold of books and articles, troubleshooting references, or finding contact details for accessing subject specialist help.

The best place to keep up to date with information on library provision is on the UL's coronavirus update page, which includes links to information on ebooks, journals, interlibrary loans, library support, and help with troubleshooting remote access. You can also use their online form for recommending ebooks for purchase.

You should also be able to get help from your subject library, including support with accessing ebooks, articles, and materials on Moodle. 

Most ebooks can be found on iDiscover, but some of the resources being made available by publishers during this period have to be searched independently, so do have a look at the additional eresources page for more information.

It is also worth checking the ebooks@Cambridge blog for updates on newly-available material. Their blog posts give extra information on what's in the resources and how best to use them, together with tips on gaining access for any resources that need them.

If you have any questions, or need any help, please do get in touch.

Readers with disabilities

The UL will be prioritising services to support readers with disabilities. If you have an enquiry or request, or require resources in an accessible format, email them at

You can also use the SensusAccess tool to create an alternative format document. 

Settee under the window in Selwyn College Library

Free things to read

For those of you looking for general reading and reading for fun, you can find lots of ebooks on iDiscover, including plenty of fiction and all of the Very Short Introductions. (Raven log-in required)

You can join the public library in Cambridgeshire and wherever you are living if you are elsewhere in the UK. This will get you access to electronic books, audiobooks, magazines, and newspapers.

Desk, lamp, and window in Selwyn College Library

Sounds to study by

There are plenty of revision playlists out there, but if you’re looking for background sounds, you could try Soundrown for a variety of natural sounds or a coffee shop or train journey.

You can also find 1 or 8 hour-long calming sound recordings, including waves, birdsong, and rain, on BBC Sounds in a set aimed at helping children get to sleep. They also have a variety of slow radio programmes for more meditative listening.

And if you're missing the atmosphere of a quiet library, you could try the Sounds of the Bodleian.

Culture in quarantine

There are many options out there if you'd like to take a cultural break. Having shamelessly stolen the name of the BBC's major offering, let's start with that:

Culture in Quarantine

In addition to many boxsets on the iPlayer, a collection of live recordings of Shakespeare plays have been added to the iPlayer. These will also be broadcast on BBC4.

National Theatre Collection

If you've seen the National Theatre's plays being shared on Youtube, you might be interested to know that these plays and more are available in the National Theatre Collection on Drama Online. No more 7 day deadlines to watch each one. (Raven log-in required)

Box of Broadcasts

Box of Broadcasts is a newly-available resource, on trial until 31 July 2020, and it's a little bit magic. It's an ongoing archive of programmes (and films) broadcast free to air on TV and radio in the UK. There are over 2 million recordings available and you can request recently or soon-to-be broadcast items be recorded and added to the archive. (Raven log-in and BoB acccount creation required. Only accessible in the EU. BBC News Channel now available globally.)

Virtual tours and webcams

There are so many virtual tours and webcams available, it's easiest to give you links to some curated lists and then add to these with any new ones that stand out:

And for a bit of Cambridge colour, there's the weekly wellness wander around the Botanic Garden, a calming view of Kettle's Yard, and the dizzying full sweep of King's College Chapel.

Top tips for working remotely

One first top tip would be to download Lean Library as a browser plug-in. It authenticates you and delivers articles where there is a Cambridge subscription or looks for an open access version if not. Doing your searching through iDiscover can also help with authentication issues.

Some useful extra help being put together by college libraries:

Pembroke College Library are sharing their resource of the day on Facebook: #ResourceOfTheDay

Queens' College Library have been putting their top tips on Facebook: #QueensTopTips

Wolfson College Library have created a page guide on remote working in their study skills guide. This includes information on: 

Silent study room in Selwyn College Library

Puzzles and games


Daily Sudoku from the Guardian (with an archive of past puzzles)


Daily crosswords from the Guardian (quick, cryptic, and more, with an archive of past puzzles)


And, finally, as it wouldn't be Easter Term without them, here are some online jigsaws - library jigsaws, to get you started. 

There are many more puzzles available online - let us know your favourite and we'll add it to the list.

Selwyn College Library is currently closed. If you have an enquiry, please email and we will get back to you as soon as we are able. This email address is usually monitored periodically from Monday to Friday.