Cambridge University Library

Manuscripts and University Archives

Due to critical building work we will be unable to fetch items to the Manuscripts Reading Room on Monday 3rd August. It will be possible to consult items held on reserve. We will also be able to fetch limited amounts of material in advance for consultation on Monday. Orders must be placed by 11 am Saturday 1st August. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The Department of Manuscripts and University Archives is home to a wide range of material, from important medieval manuscripts to collections of personal papers dating from the twentieth century.  It includes scientific collections, business archives, the records of the University and political papers. Cambridge University PhD theses are also held by the department.

All material from the Manuscripts and University Archives collections is consulted in the Manuscripts Reading Room.  The Reading Room is also the place to consult Bible Society manuscripts and archives, manuscript items and photographs from the Royal Commonwealth Society collections and Near and Middle Eastern and South Asian manuscripts, though these collections have their own specialist departments.

If you are interested in visiting the Reading Room please go to our Using the Manuscripts Reading Room page.

You can find online catalogues to many of our collections on the Janus website whilst details of how our holdings are arranged and how to search our collections are available on our Search the Collections page. Brief subject guides are available through our Subject guides page and a list of our more important collections can be found on our Important collections page.

The Special Collections department has a blog which includes entries and information on manuscript and archival material while our Image of the Month page has regularly changing digital images of visually interesting items from our collections.