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2-5pm, Friday 17 March 2017
Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge


Cambridge University Library wishes to invite Library readers and all members of the University to a very special event, Behind the Shelves, to mark the closing of the Library’s 600th anniversary celebrations.

Ever wondered how Darwin arrived at his theories on heredity and evolution? Or been curious as to why the Library has in its collection a pair of Indian slippers and psychic thumbprints? Or what we really have stored in our 17-storey tower (hint: it’s not what you might think!). All is revealed with Behind the Shelves. 

Building on a successful year of activities since the launch of our momentous anniversary in March 2016, we are offering all staff, researchers and students of the University a unique opportunity to go behind-the-scenes, to engage with our diverse collections and extraordinary treasures, and to learn more about the wide range of services and support we offer. 

Please help us plan for this event by registering your interest in attending here:​

DID YOU KNOW? All members of the University are entitled to reading access and in most cases borrowing rights to millions of items held in the Library. If you would like to check that your University of Cambridge Card is activated, please email with your full name and the 5 digit code beginning with "V" under the barcode on the back of your University Card. Alternatively, you are welcome to make an appointment with Reader Registration by telephoning 01223 333030.

Important information:

  • Please note that this event is for University staff and students and Library readers only – please bring your blue University of Cambridge card or white Library card with you on the day. 18s and over only.
  • In compliance with normal Library rules, all visitors to the Library are asked to leave their bags in our secure locker-room before entering the main building.
  • The Library will remain open to readers during this event; please respect your fellow Library users and keep noise to a minimum during your visit.
  • The behind-the-scenes tours are not pre-bookable before the day, and will operate on a first-come, first-served basis on the day. Bookings for tours from 2pm will be taken on the 1st Floor balcony. Spaces on each tour are limited.
  • Some of the tours may not be suitable for wheelchair users or for those with limited mobility. 
All enquiries about this event, including information about access, can be directed to