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Physical & Digital Collections

Archives and Modern Manuscripts Collections at Cambridge University Library: Services


Enquiries can be sent via email to  The staff at the Manuscripts Reading Room desk will be happy to help with any enquiries or information when readers are in the Library.

Reference Books

The shelves in the Manuscripts Reading Room contain published reference works relating to manuscripts in Cambridge and elsewhere.  They are all catalogued online on our iDiscover catalogue.  They are not to be removed from the room, though they can be transferred to other reading rooms for use with material which can only be consulted there. Some reference works are kept in store but can be fetched to the room. Please ask at the Staff Desk if you cannot find the reference works you need.

Use of cameras and ordering images

Self-service photography
Readers may use their own cameras to take still photographs of most of the collections held in the Department of Archives and Modern Manuscripts for non-commercial research or private study only.  Cameras and camera phones must be hand-held, and must be capable of being set to 'silent'. SLRs, tripods, 'mini-pods', hand-held scanners and flash photography are not permitted. Please note also that some collections are subject to restrictions and may not be photographed; staff will provide guidance on this.

Please see our full guidelines for further information.

Ordering images
It is possible for our Digital Content Unit to make copies of manuscripts and archives, depending on the physical nature of the material. Details for their services are available on their web pages.  There also is an online order form.

Laptops and wireless networking

Readers may use laptop computers in the Room at any desk. Plug sockets are provided in all the desks, and readers may plug their computers in directly. Adaptors are available at the Staff Desk if needed by users of computers with two-pin plugs. Access to the UniOfCam wireless network is available in the Room for current staff and students of the University of Cambridge with a Raven password. Other readers can apply for access via a time-limited ticket.


A computer terminal is located in the Manuscripts Reading Room which gives access to numerous resources relating to manuscripts and dissertations, including various online catalogues.  

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