Cambridge University Library

Manuscripts Reading Room Information

The Manuscripts Reading Room is open to all those with a Library readers ticket, though to consult manuscript material readers must be in possession of a ticket which allows access to such material.  Please see our Admission to the Manuscripts Reading Room page for full details. 

It is not necessary to make an appointment to view items in the Manuscripts Reading Room and most of the items held by the Department are available for consultation.  However, some contain material of a confidential nature, and in such cases, various restrictions on access apply. Furthermore, the Library's programme of conservation work may oblige us to make certain items unavailable for limited periods. It is always best to check the availability of any manuscript before visiting the Library.  This can be done either by e-mail or telephone; please see our contacts page for details.

The Manuscripts Reading Room is a pencil only room, no pens are allowed.  Readers are welcome to use laptop computers and are permitted to take photographs of manuscript and archive material provided the camera is hand-held and set on 'silent' (it must not beep or click). SLRs are not permitted.  All readers wishing to use a camera must first ask at the desk. Please note also that some collections are subject to restrictions and may not be photographed; staff will provide guidance on this.

All readers to the Manuscripts Reading Room are required to register when entering the room, and must leave certain items in the lockers provided.  These include, but are not limited to: pens, coats, bags of any kind, any items of food or drink and blades of any kind.  Full details of Manuscripts Reading Room procedures, including opening hours and fetching times, can be found on our Using the Manuscripts Reading Room page.

The desk is always staffed by at least two members of staff who will be happy to help you with ordering items, enquiries and with the other services which are available.  Please go to our Services page for a full list of the services we offer.