Cambridge University Library

Rare Books

New collection The Library has recently acquired a collection of wholly engraved books; full details in this blog post. This detail shows a 1642 image of an engraving workshop: click for the full image.

Official Publications move to Rare Books Read more here...

Special collections blog Read more here

The Rare Book collections of Cambridge University Library cover all subjects of study and include material from the first European printing presses in the fifteenth century up to the present day, and publications from all parts of the world. The Department is responsible for most of the older printed material in the Library, as well as more recent publications which require special care or which have interesting provenances. Information on particular rare book collections can be found in the Collections Directory.

The collections are read in the Munby Rare Books Room. For a brief guide to using the room, see our Reader Guidelines. Readers intending to use the Library for the first time should contact the Admissions Office for further information and an appointment.

In addition to our own classes, several other collections within the Library are consulted in the Munby Rare Books Room;


catalogue coverNew publication: Members of the Rare Books department have edited and contributed to a new Library publication, Emprynted in thys manere: Early printed treasures from Cambridge University Library. Published in parallel with the Private lives of print exhibition, it comprises essays by 60 contributors.. Copies can be purchased from the University Library Reader Services Desk, or from the University's online sales service.