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Trinity Hall: Library Introduction: Special collections

A guide to using the Jerwood library at Trinity Hall, Cambridge

Trinity Hall's Old Library dates to the late 1580s and is the fifth oldest library in Cambridge. It contains around 4,500 early printed and private press books on a wide range of subjects. including a large collection of early law books. It also has around 70 manuscripts- the earliest from the 11th century. See our website for more on the history of the Old Library.

The Jerwood Library also has some special collections of books in the Reading Room on the ground floor. The Larman Collection covers books on Tudor and Stuart history. The Strangman Collection covers a wide range of subjects including 18th and 19th century English literature. And the Trinity Hall Collection contains books by and/or about members of Trinity Hall or the history of the College.

Some of the books in the special collections may be borrowed. However, they are only accessible during the hours that the library is staffed. If you would like to consult the special collections, please contact the library staff.

The College also has an archive which holds documents, papers and photographs about the College and its current and former members.

Searching Special Collections

These catalogues cover the special collections at Trinity Hall:

Access to early printed books

The full text of the majority of books published in English before 1800 are available on Early English Books Online (EEBO) and Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO).  The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) lists most books published in this period.

Exterior of the Old Library. A red bricked Elizabethan building with a door on the first floor level.
Gable end of the red bricked Old Library
Page of manuscript with small figure of religious man holding staff

Life of St Martin of Tours c.1050

Atlas showing the British isles

Atlas Contractus. 1513

The Old Library: an introduction

For more information on the  history and contents of the Old Library, check out the website.


For enquiries about the Old Library and its rare books and manuscripts, please contact:

Jenni Lecky-Thompson, Head of Library Services

For enquiries about archival collections, please contact:

Alex Browne, Archivist

Office hours

9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday

Colour our collections

Downloadable colouring books of images from our early printed books are available from the Color our Collections website.

Trinity Hall 2022 colouring book

Trinity Hall 2021 colouring book

Trinity Hall 2020 colouring book


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