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The Italian Collections at Cambridge University Library exist to support the curriculum and research needs of the university in the humanities and the social sciences.

The research collections aim to include monographs and serials (both in paper and/or microform), electronic resources, audiovisual materials (when issued with print material), maps and atlases, and some older material for historical research. Although the emphasis on the acquisition of print material is still significant, several types of materials (mostly journals, indexes, and databases) are increasingly being acquired in electronic format.

The collection is estimated at over 84,000 items. This figure includes approximately 2,000 items printed in the 16th century, 2,500 in the 17th century, 3,500 in the 18th century, 8,500 in the 19th century, 50,000 in the 20th century and 17,500 published since the year 2000.

A significant number of materials in English, French and German relating to Italian studies are also acquired.