Watch this short film to find out more about libraries in Cambridge.
Cambridge University is full of libraries! They are spread across the city in colleges, departments, museums, research centres and there is the distinctively shaped University Library. You may choose to borrow books, access online journal articles, or get support, encouragement and guidance from library staff. They will be keen to help you and so do take the opportunity to connect with them early on in your course. Libraries offer a wide range of services, it is likely that as a University of Cambridge student you will use library services during your course.
Many of our libraries offer inductions to new students. Your college and subject library may be in touch with more information about introducing their space and services available to you.
Cambridge University Libraries are always open online. With your Raven login and using iDiscover you can access more than 800,000 e-books, 120,000 e-journal titles and 400 databases. In addition, the Cambridge Digital Library has more than 500,000 images of more than 35,000 objects from our world-class collections freely available to everyone.
Libraries across Cambridge contribute to a series of online resources to help you find what you are looking for. Cambridge LibGuides are available for different libraries, different subject areas, types of resource (such as e-books, newspapers, or official publications such as parliamentary papers), and skills such as reference management. In addition, many college libraries have dedicated pages on college websites.
You will have unprecedented access to print and online resources to support your studies. During your course you will learn how to access them whether you are in your college room, a library, or studying away from the city.
Libraries are all different and there is no one way to use them. You will find varied study spaces, resources you need and staff to help. We try to make them diverse learning environments which will appeal to all users, taking into account individual needs and preferences. Many libraries play a pastoral role too and may find that your library offers tea and biscuits at exam time, arts and crafts activities as a way to unwind, and even jigsaws to give you a reason to take a well-deserved break from your studies.
There are over a hundred libraries in Cambridge. Most students will have access to at least three libraries at the start of their studies, one from each of the following types:
With thanks to:
Dhruv (Human, Social, and Political Sciences)
Anna (Human, Social, and Political Sciences)
Look at how many libraries there are!
Zoom in on the map below to find your libraries and click the pin for more information about them.
The map in this window shows you all libraries. If you want to restrict it to see particular groups of libraries, click on the headings below. These link to the map in the Libraries Directory and will open in this window.
Find your libraries
A really useful thing that you can do before your course begins is to get to know the different libraries that you might use, and even make contact with the staff who work there. Start by visiting the Cambridge Libraries gateway.
Look up your college library, faculty and departmental library/ies and the University Library on the Libraries Directory. Using this and by connecting to their website, find their opening hours, the names of one or two members of staff, some of the services they offer and images of them. Note that some start with a name, rather than subject e.g. Seeley Historical Library or the Haddon Library (Archaeology and Anthropology).
There is also a public library, Cambridge Central Library in the Lion Yard shopping centre.
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