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Cambridge University Library


Please use the links at the left to navigate these web pages, which contain full details about the Chinese collections of Cambridge University Library, their catalogues and how to use them, as well as general Chinese bibliographical information and links to other relevant sites.

The oldest items in the Library are Chinese inscribed oracle bones dating from the 13th century BC (right), and the oldest printed book is a Chinese Buddhist sutra dated 1107.

The Chinese collections comprise about 120,000 printed volumes (including bound serials) which contain over 150,000 monograph titles and over 250,000 individual titles of other (reprinted) materials such as manuscripts from Dunhuang, Huizhou, etc., archival documents and epigraphical rubbings. Over 300,000 titles are included in some 2,000 cong shu.

About 3,000 Chinese printed serial titles are held in Cambridge libraries and the University Library subscribes to over 1,000 current Chinese printed serials.

In addition the Library has about 150,000 Chinese e-books, 5,000 Chinese e-serials and 3,500 Chinese microfilm reels.

A selection of noteworthy Chinese items may be viewed in extenso in the Cambridge Digital Library.

Opening hours


9:00-18:50 (staffed 9:00-17:10)


9:00-18:50 (staffed 9:00-16:50)


9:00-16:30 (not staffed)

No fetching or transferring of items between 12.30 and 14.00 and after 17.00 (after 16.45 on Fridays). No fetching or transferring of items Saturdays. On Saturdays non-borrowable items can be consulted in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Contact us

Charles Aylmer (Head of Chinese Department) 
Cambridge University Library
West Road 

Tel: +44 (0)1223 333038