Cambridge University Library, 2002
Acquiring, conserving and making these collections available has
been the focus of Cambridge University Library's librarians over the
centuries. What might the books tell us about the people who
donated, maintained them?
Currently the Library contains more than seven million books and
periodicals, one million maps and many thousands of manuscripts.
Adapting to its users' needs for information in electronic formats,
the Library continues daily to add books old and new to its
The Library grows and changes; this exhibition tells its story
over the six centuries of its existence.
600 years of
Housed in one of the most striking landmarks on the
city skyline, Cambridge University Library is internationally famous
for the promotion of teaching and learning.
The Library started as a small collection of books stored in the
tower of Great St Mary's Church in the mid fourteenth
Now it occupies more than 100 miles of shelving and its
collections vary hugely in age and content. Chinese oracle bones
from the second millennium BC can be found alongside the latest
online scientific journal; illuminated decorations in medieval
manuscripts can be studied as originals and as digitised images
delivered via the internet.
A reader consults an old catalogue